Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Classic Italian Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

Impress your guests with this delicious, classic Italian spaghetti with clams. Quick and easy.
My absolute favorite seafood pasta!

I hope you had a super fun and relaxing holiday weekend.
Mine was really great! Perfect weather, great company, lots of beach and pool time... who can complain, right?!?
For tonight, I propose an ocean inspired, Italian seafood dinner: Spaghetti with clams. Very popular dish in Italy and in Italian restaurants. And my absolute favorite seafood pasta!
It's really fast (less than 30 minutes!!) and quite easy to prepare. All you need is white wine, fresh (organic) Italian parsley, garlic and peperoncini to make it spicy. And, of course, fresh clams! I'm always skeptical of shell fish, so I only buy clams at the fish market, and not my regular grocery store. This way, I'm always sure they are top quality, fresh and super clean. Note, if you buy the clams in the morning for dinner time, like I always do, don't leave them in the closed package or bag. They might die without air. So, as soon as you get home, open the bag, place the clams in a large bowl  (with ice if possible), and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
Here is the recipe. You really can't go wrong with this!

Ingredients: for 4 people
  • 2.5 lb of manila clams, super fresh!
  • 1 bunch (about 1 oz) of fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 hot peppers (peperoncini)
  • 3 tablespoons of plain bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 12 oz of spaghetti 
Preparation time: about 20 minutes

Step 1: Clean the clams under running water. Scrape the shells if necessary. Place the clams in a pot with two garlic cloves crushed. Cover the pot and place it over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Bring another large pot with salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti as directed on the box as soon as the water starts to boil.

Step 3: In a large skillet, saute' two minced garlic cloves with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the hot peppers.
Step 4: Take all the clams that opened from the pot and add to the skillet with the olive oil and garlic. For about half, leave the clams in their shell, and the other half remove from the shell.
If you have clams that did not open, cook them in the pot, covered, for one extra minute. Add to the skillet if the clams are now open, or discard if still close (it means they were dead, and most likely not safe to eat).
Step 5: Filtrate the water left by the clams with a sifter and add the liquid to the skillet. Throw away the sandy bottom.
Step 6: Add the white wine, bread crumbs and chopped parsley to the skillet. Let evaporate the alcohol, and cook for about 5 minutes. Adjust with salt if necessary (it shouldn't be!).
Step 7: Drain the spaghetti al dente and toss in the skillet with the clams for about a minute, mixing well. Serve immediately sprinkling with some more parsley if you like.

Buon Appetito!


  1. Back home after a great holiday and catching up on my reading. Spaghetti alle vongole is my favorite sea food pasta too, always has been! Looks delicious