Spaghetti alle Vongole – mamma’s way

PrimiOct 07 20131 Comment

pasta alle Vongole

Difficulty:Difficult  Time:Long

INGREDIENTS (x4 persons):

  • - 1 kg clams/vongole
  • - 300 gr spaghetti ( or linguine)
  • - extra virgin olive oil
  • - sea salt
  • - 2-3 garlic cloves
  • - 2 glasses of still white wine
  • - salt/black ground pepper
  • - a pinch of chili pepper (peperoncino) powder or dried chili flakes (optional)
  • - 1 large handful of flat parsley leaves, finely chopped


  • 1. Put a deep pan of water on a fire, cover with a lid and let it get up to boil. When boiling, bring down to a gentle boil and add a handful of sea salt. Let it get back to boiling before adding the spaghetti.
  • 2. In the meanwhile, add a slug of olive oil on a frying pan with the garlic cloves. Sweat the cloves, then throw the clams in the hot oil.
  • pastaVongole1*
  • 3. Stir the clams until they start to open and add the wine. Let the wine dry out applying a high flame. It should take only few minutes to open the clams up. It is ok to serve the occasional closed clam, but do remember to not open and eat them. Cover the pan with a lid to keep everything warm.
  • 4. While cooking the clams, you have put the pasta into the boiling water and let it cook until ‘al dente’. ‘Al dente’ depends on the time, which is put on the packaging of the pasta. When the pasta is ready, drain it, but keep a small amount of the pasta’s cooking water.
  • 5. Throw the pasta into the saucepan with the clams, stir it. Then add the parsley, some olive oil, the freshly grounded black pepper, a pinch of chili pepper (optional) and a sip of the cooking water (to adjust it until enough creamy). Serve it hot. I love this dish!!


  • - If the clams are freshly collected, like the day before your meal, place them in a large plastic colander inside a basket with cold salty water. Change the water few times while letting the clams drain. This should make the clams release the sand inside which will benefit the dish a lot. The day after, rinse the clams vigorously under cold running water while scrubbing the shells on the outside – if necessary.
  • - While cooking the clams, you can keep the garlic cloves as a whole and discard them later or you can thinly chopped them. This latter option allows you to have them mixed up in the sauce.
  • - Prepare some slices of fresh bread, perhaps lightly toasted. The bread will allow you to take up some of the left-over sauce, which is very nice!