A traditional seafood favourite, spaghetti alle vongole is part of the Neapolitan cuisine of the Campania region of Italy. Enjoyed up and down the coast, this clam-filled delicacy is a cause of controversy for some. Whilst the pasta type for this dish, spaghetti - or as it’s known in Neapolitan dialect ‘vermecielle’ - is straightforward, making the sauce for this dish divides many. Some believe that the sauce should be made with tomato, adding a bit of colour and a burst of flavour, whilst there are those who staunchly argue that the dish should only be enjoyed ‘in bianco’ - in a white sauce with no tomatoes in sight. In our recipe we’ve sided with the former group, incorporating a small handful of cherry tomatoes into this delicious sauce.
All disputes aside, the real key to the perfect pasta alle vongole is in the freshness of the ingredients, selecting the best quality clams and the juiciest tomatoes and picking fresh pasta where you can will transform the outcome of your dish.
Make our Delicious Spaghetti alle Vongole
Prep Time: 30 mins (not including pasta prep time)
Calories per serving: 582kcal
- 180g fresh spaghetti (try making your own with our step-by-step guide)
- 500g fresh clams in shells
- 10 ripe cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 small fresh red chilli, finely chopped
- Half glass white wine
- Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ lemon, to serve
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Begin by rinsing the clams in cold water, change the water several times to ensure they’re thoroughly clean. Discard any clams that are open.
- Finely chop the tomatoes. If you’re using large tomatoes blanch them and peel the skins off, otherwise leave the skins on.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a moment, but be careful not to let the garlic burn. Stir in the tomatoes along with the clams, white wine and a little salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until the clams open up.
- Whilst the sauce cooks, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook your fresh spaghetti for 2 minutes if you’ve made it from scratch, or according to the packet instructions, and then drain it.
- Transfer the spaghetti to the pan with the sauce in it, along with the fresh parsley. Toss together to ensure the pasta is fully coated in the sauce. Serve immediately. Buon appetito!
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