Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole means spaghetti with clams. This recipe comes from Bon Appetit’s May 2011 issue (the travel issue, which is chock full of Italian recipes).

When I was little my dad used to make us spaghetti with clams in red sauce, and this recipe reminded me of that, but was a new thing, too, since no tomatoes were involved. I opted to use canned, precooked clam meat instead of whole fresh clams because, though they may look pretty in the picture, eating spaghetti with clams in shells must be difficult. Maybe it’s a little less gourmet, but think of this as a practical version of the recipe. (Canned clams also save time!)



12 ounces gluten-free brown rice spaghetti

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/2 cup white wine

4 pounds whole clams, or about 1 cup canned chopped clam meat

4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Bring water to boil. Season lightly with salt and cook pasta, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until just golden. Add red pepper flakes and continue cooking 15 more seconds. Add wine, then clams. (If using canned clam meat, just heat thoroughly — this will take less time than using whole clams, and you don’t want to overcook the meat. If using raw, fresh whole clams, increase heat to high, cover sillet and cook until clams open and release their juices, 3 to 6 minutes. As clams open, use tongs to transfer them to a bowl.)

3. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet, add pasta to pan. Cook until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce. (If using whole clams, put them back in the pan). Add any more clam juice or pasta water if sauce is to dry. Add parsley and toss to combine. Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining oil.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Main dish, Pasta, Sauce, Seafood


Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.


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