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Spaghetti With Clams (Alle Vongole)


A very simple and quick summer recipe. You can make this pasta dish with all kinds of seafood.

Use mussels, which you can even mix and match with prawns and squid. I used cockles from Cornwall.


Spaghetti with clams (alle vongole)

A very simple and quick summer recipe. You can make this with mussels, or even mix and match with prawns and squid. I used cockles from Cornwall.
Spaghetti with clams (alle vongole) served in a pan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 500 g clams
  • 200 g pasta preferably long
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1-2 small red chillies Make sure you remove the seeds if you can't handle the spice
  • 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley chopped
  • zest from 1 lemon or lime
  • juice from half a lemon i'd avoid using lime juice in this instance
  • 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil



  • Prepare all your ingredients before you begin cooking. This is a quick recipe so you will need everything in hand once you start.
  • Clams live in the sand. Before you cook them, make sure that they are scrubbed, cleaned and thoroughly rinsed with cold water. You don't want any sand in your pasta.
  • TIP: To identify rotten clams, fill a bowl or container with cold water and throw in all your clams. Throw away any clams that float.


  • Bring a pot filled with 2 litres of generously salted water to the boil. Add your pasta in and set a timer for 3 minutes before the pasta is ready.
  • In a hot pan (medium to high heat), put 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add the garlic and chillies.
  • As soon as you start smelling the garlic, add the tomatoes and the clams.
  • Add the wine and cover the pan letting the clams steam. Leave covered until your clams are fully open. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  • When the clams are open take the pan off the heat. 
  • Open the lid and add the lemon juice along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Throw away any clams that haven’t opened.
  • Optional step: Move your clams onto a plate. We are removing the clams to make it easier for the pasta to be mixed with the sauce.
  • About 3 minutes before your pasta is ready, drain it keeping 1/2 a cup of pasta water. OR you can use a pair of tongs and take straight from the pot to the pan. 
  • Add your pasta to the pan along with the tarragon, parsley, lemon/lime zest and a splash of the pasta water.
  • Stir or toss for 1-2 minutes or until the pasta is glazed and cooked to your liking. 
  • Mix your clams in and you are ready to serve.


pasta with clams, seafood pasta, vongole

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