Cookbook:Spaghetti with Clams in White Wine Sauce

Spaghetti with Clams in White Wine Sauce
CategoryPasta recipes
Time1 hour

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Pasta Recipes | Italian-American cuisine | Clam recipes

This recipe is an Americanized version of spaghetti alle vongole, a Neapolitan dish that's popular throughout Italy. The traditional, Neapolitan version calls for clams, spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, parsley, salt, black pepper and sometimes red pepper flakes.[1] This American version adds butter, white wine and sometimes cream to the traditional ingredients.




  1. Put a large saucepan of water on the heat, and bring to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti, keeping an eye on the cooking time to ensure that the spaghetti does not overcook.
  2. Put the clams into a separate small saucepan with the white wine and poach gently for about 2 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.
  3. Pour a generous quantity of olive oil into a small frying pan, and heat up.
  4. Add the garlic cloves, chillies, chopped parsley, and the lemon zest.
  5. Heat everything for about 3 minutes.
  6. Now add about ½ of the white wine the clams were cooked in.
  7. Continue to heat for a few minutes on a high heat to induce a slight reduction.
  8. Add the cooked clams to the sauce and turn the heat off completely.
  9. Once the pasta is cooked drain it through a sieve or colander and return to the saucepan.
  10. Add the salted butter to the pasta and mix through thoroughly. This will induce the sauce to thicken a little.
  11. Add the cooked clams to the sauce and the pasta.
  12. Mix up thoroughly ensuring you do not damage the clams.
  13. Serve in a high-sided bowl, ensuring that each guest gets their fair share of clams.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • Add some cream to the sauce before serving if you like. However refrain from adding parmesan cheese. Most Italians frown on adding cheese to fish-based pasta dishes. Also, you don't have to use spaghetti. Penne works well with the spicy sauce. Linguine also works. But make sure the pasta is al dente.