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Spaghetti with Fresh Clams, Parsley and Lemon


Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds fresh Manila clams or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic and sauté until light brown, about 1 minute. Add clams and 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley; stir 2 minutes. Add wine; simmer 2 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice. Cover and simmer until clams open, about 6 minutes (discard any clams that do not open).

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Add pasta to clam mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and serve.

Reviews Section

Spaghetti With Clams (Spaghetti Alle Vongole)

Spaghetti with clams is an Italian classic filled with the flavors of summer. Briny clams, buttery spaghetti, bright lemon and fresh parsley blend together for an irresistible meal.

This spaghetti with clams is one of my favorite pasta dishes, and very near to my heart, mainly because it's my husband Brandon's specialty. He rarely cooks, but you can bet that if he's putting on an apron, it's either to make this pasta or to roll some sushi.

He's made this dish for me a handful of times over the years, and even though it's so simple, it always screams "special occasion" to me.

We like to use spaghetti or linguine, whichever is on hand, and the freshest clams possible. Usually, littlenecks are the best option by us. The briny water inside of the clam shell is what makes the magic happen, especially when combined with loads of garlic, lemon and parsley!

You can't have clams without a healthy dose of garlic, trust me. I use an entire small head of garlic! Bye bye vampires.

Anywho. grab the white wine, put it in the fridge so it gets icy cold, and let's get cooking.

SPAGHETTI WITH CLAMS INGREDIENTS

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Spaghetti: My favorite brand of pasta is Rusticella D'Abruzzo. It's a splurge, but absolutely worth it IMHO. Any spaghetti you have on hand will do though! Make sure for this recipe that you use a long noodle.
  • Clams: For this recipe, it's best to use


Lemon Spaghetti with Chilli Clams

Clams
2kg live little neck clams ¼ cup CHEF® Lobster Liquid Concentrate + 500ml water
3-4 parsley stalks
1 celery stick, diced
1 carrot, diced
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil 1-2 red chillis, finely sliced ½ cup chopped Italian parsley

Caramelised lemon wedges
Fresh herbs

Combine the soft butter, lemon zest, CHEF® Fermented Pepper Paste, chopped capers, CHEF® Black Garlic Paste and mix well.

Heat the lobster stock, parsley stalks, celery and carrot, and white wine. Poach clams until the shells spring open. Remove clams from the broth and set aside. Strain the broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.

Heat the oil and gently warm the chilli’s and parsley. Add the clams and enough lobster broth to make a juicy sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente then drain and toss with ¾ of the black pepper and lemon butter.

Serve the spaghetti in shallow bowls, top with the warm clams and pour over a little juice. Serve with remaining black butter and fresh herbs. Garnish with caramelised lemon wedges

Use MAGGI® Taste of Asia Chilli Garlic Paste for extra convenience

Try this tangy peppery butter on steamed mussels

Change out the CHEF® Lobster Liquid Concentrate for CHEF® Fish Liquid Concentrate


Lemon Spaghetti with Chilli Clams

Clams
2kg live clams
15ml CHEF Chicken Style Liquid Concentrate
+ 500mL hot water
3-4 parsley stalks
1 celery stick, diced
1 carrot, diced
¼ cup white wine
1-2 red chillis, finely sliced
½ cup chopped Italian parsley

Caramelised lemon wedges
Fresh herbs

Combine the soft butter, lemon zest, CHEF Fermented Pepper Paste, chopped capers, CHEF Black Garlic Paste and mix well.

Heat the CHEF Chicken Style Liquid Concentrate and water in a pot. Add parsley stalks, celery, carrot and white wine. Poach clams until the shells spring open*. Remove clams from the broth and set aside. Strain the broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
*Discard any clams that do not open.

Heat the oil and gently warm the chillis and parsley. Add the clams and enough chicken broth to make a juicy sauce.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente then drain and toss with ¾ of the black pepper and lemon butter.

Serve the spaghetti in shallow bowls, top with the warm clams and pour over a little juice. Serve with remaining black butter and fresh herbs. Garnish with caramelised lemon wedges.

Use MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA Chilli Garlic Paste instead of chilli for extra convenience.


Spaghetti with clams recipe

This is an incredibly simple but delicious dish and a very cheap one to make. I like to make a big plate for everyone to share. So much flavour comes from the juicy clams themselves, the sweetness of the clams and saltiness of the sea, it is a lovely match of flavours.

Ingredients

  • 100 ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Handfuls of clams
  • 1 Fresh tomatoes skinned
  • 2 Good glugs of white wine
  • 1 Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 0.5 tsp Butter
  • 3 Handfuls of good quality dried spaghetti
  • 3.5 fl oz Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Handfuls of clams
  • 1 Fresh tomatoes skinned
  • 2 Good glugs of white wine
  • 1 Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 0.5 tsp Butter
  • 3 Handfuls of good quality dried spaghetti
  • 0.4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Handfuls of clams
  • 1 Fresh tomatoes skinned
  • 2 Good glugs of white wine
  • 1 Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 0.5 tsp Butter
  • 3 Handfuls of good quality dried spaghetti

Details

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 5 mins
  • Serves: 2

Step-by-step

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and then the spaghetti. The clams will cook in the same time.
  2. Put the oil into another frying pan over a gentle heat and add the garlic, bay leaf, some of the parsley, dried chilli and squeeze the tomatoes into the mixture.
  3. Now add the clams to the pan and give it a good stir turning the clams over so they become coated in the oil, herbs, chilli and garlic. Make sure the garlic doesn't burn.
  4. Next, add a good glug or two of white wine and a bit more fresh parsley. Turn the heat up slightly, and wait for the clams to steam open - they will release loads of fabulous juice into the pan. If the clams take some time to open, don't let them fry, just add a splash of water to create some steam to help them along. Remove any clams that have not opened.
  5. Check that all your spaghetti has separated in the boiling water and stir it around briefly. You will know when it is done by tasting it. The pasta should not be soggy! It should still have a bit of `bite' to it in the middle.
  6. Take the clams from the heat, add the spaghetti, and toss together. Add half a teaspoon of butter to the dish and toss it together once again. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

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                Nutritional

                • Serving Size: 1 (284.8 g)
                • Calories 596.7
                • Total Fat - 18.7 g
                • Saturated Fat - 6.7 g
                • Cholesterol - 56.5 mg
                • Sodium - 1053.5 mg
                • Total Carbohydrate - 73.3 g
                • Dietary Fiber - 1.2 g
                • Sugars - 2.4 g
                • Protein - 34.6 g
                • Calcium - 93.1 mg
                • Iron - 6 mg
                • Vitamin C - 18.8 mg
                • Thiamin - 0.5 mg

                Step 1

                Rinse the clams in cold running water, and scrub if necessary.

                Step 2

                Put clams in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Salt generously and leave for a couple of hours, then drain and rinse well to remove any grit or sand.

                Step 3

                Put the spaghetti into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes under the recommended time, until nearly done.

                Step 4

                Meanwhile, put half the butter and all the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and soften the garlic and chilli.

                Step 5

                Add the drained clams, and turn up the heat.

                Step 6

                Pour in the wine, cover and leave for a couple of minutes until most of them have opened. Discard any that are still closed. Add the others to the sauce, picking a few out of their shells for variety.

                Step 7

                Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan along with the remaining butter. Toss well and leave for a minute, then stir through the chopped parsley, lemon zest and juice, season to taste and serve.


                Spaghetti allo Scoglio (Spaghetti With Mixed Seafood) Recipe

                Why It Works

                • Cooking the seafood in stages ensures that all of the components are at their textural best in the final dish.
                • Cooking the pasta risotto-style, a technique known as spaghetti risottati, means the spaghetti absorbs the flavor from the shellfish broth.
                • Bottled clam juice intensifies the natural flavor of the steamed shellfish.

                Spaghetti allo scoglio is found all over coastal Italy, and it's prized for its mix of fresh seafood, which can include clams, mussels, shrimp, and cuttlefish or squid. Like spaghetti alle vongole, scoglio isn't saucy instead it consists of long strands of al dente pasta with a silky coating packed with briny seafood flavor, thanks to the combination of fresh shellfish liquor, acidic white wine, a touch of fresh tomato, and peppery olive oil.

                I live on Martha's Vineyard, so the seafood available to me is categorically different than the delicate, iridescent frutti di mare of the rocky Adriatic coast. The clams are larger and their shells thicker, the shrimp are shipped frozen from Florida, and the squid isn't nearly as tender as the seppia (cuttlefish) found in Puglia, where I first tasted pasta allo scoglio.

                The key to the dish is getting the spaghetti to absorb the flavorful broth released by the shellfish. Sure, you can achieve this by boiling the pasta first and then finishing it in the skillet with the seafood. But my friend Daniela, chef and co-owner of Le Macàre, showed me a better way when I visited her in the Salento, Puglia’s southern sub-peninsula, a few years back. She made the dish with spaghetti risottati, or spaghetti prepared risotto-syle, the dry pasta cooking directly in the skillet with the shellfish, so that it absorbs the liquor from the clams and mussels as they steam open. The results were stunning, with each strand of pasta infused with sapore di mare (the flavor of the sea).

                To successfully adapt my friend Daniela's scoglio method for this recipe, I knew I had to cook the various seafood in stages to ensure that everything was just cooked through at the time of serving. Different types of seafood cook at different rates, so I start off by steaming the clams and mussels with aromatics and white wine, just until they open up and release their flavorful liquor. I take the shellfish out of the pan, and I supplement the briny broth left behind with bottled clam juice and a little water, which I then use as the cooking liquid for the pasta. Once the mixture comes to a boil, I add the spaghetti.

                While I wait for the spaghetti to cook, I shuck the meat from half of the clams and mussels. While Daniel correctly observed in his spaghetti alle vongole recipe that digging through a pile of shells isn't the best dining experience, for this dish you have to keep some of the shells for presentation, otherwise it just isn't scoglio. ("Scoglio" translates to "reef.")

                Once the pasta is cooked "al chiodo" (to the nail)—a few minutes shy of al dente, just beginning to soften on the exterior, but uncooked at the center—I add quick-cooking shrimp, squid, and cherry tomatoes to the mix, tossing and stirring until the shrimp are opaque and the squid pieces are just cooked through. The halved cherry tomatoes will release some of their sweet juices into the sauce, but they'll still hold their shape (we're not looking for burst tomatoes in this dish). I add the mussels and clams back to the skillet and toss everything together until all the seafood is heated through and the pasta is al dente, and then serve it immediately.


                Spaghetti with Canned Clams

                This is one of those recipes I had never considered sharing on this space until now. I try to keep recipes as authentic and fresh as possible but this is a different time. These days I’m grateful for Instacart deliveries gone are the multiple mid-week grocery runs to pick up last-minute ingredients. I can still get fresh clams delivered from my neighborhood market down the road but after taking inventory of my pantry recently and seeing the canned clams hidden in the back corner I decided they were worth featuring today.

                I would guess that canned protein would belong in two camps depending on the type or where we grew up. They’d either be “Yum, my pantry is never without it” or “Yuck, I’d never eat that.”

                Canned tuna, canned salmon, sardines and anchovies (of course) were pantry staples for my parents, as were Spam, corned beef and canned liver paté since I grew up in a Filipino household. I don’t stock the last three in my pantry (not because I no longer like them but because all the sodium scares me these days) but I will admit to succumbing to once-a-year cravings.

                The list is different for everyone, I imagine. Canned chicken? I didn’t become aware of its existence until my late 20s and it remains one item I hesitate to try. In my early 20s, on the other hand, I was introduced to canned clams by a friend in San Francisco who prepared it for me and it’s become a pantry regular since.

                Linguine with clams is one of my top three favorite pasta dishes (my recipe here) and I use fresh clams 90% of the time. But on the occasion a craving hits and it happens to be Sunday when my local market doesn’t receive a delivery of fresh shellfish, this version happens instead.

                I get it if you are reading this post with a sour look on your face but trust me that you might like it just as much as your fresh clam recipe. Although the main ingredient comes from a can, the clams get a huge fresh boost from the rest of the items on the list. This pasta is not short on garlic, has just enough butter to give it richness, it’s dressed up with a splash of wine with a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness and tossed with a good amount of Italian parsley. So just when you start to think you’ve compromised your standards by resorting to canned clams, give this one a try. In fact, make extra like I do. The abundance of clam juice loaded with briny shellfish goodness is absorbed by the pasta overnight, making it a treat for lunch the next day. Trust me your taste buds might agree.


                1. Remove any clams that are broken, or which do not close immediately if tapped. Soak the clams in cold water for several hours in order to loosen any internal sand.
                2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
                3. In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the garlic in the olive oil until golden. Add the clams and cover the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells open – discard unopened clams. Remove the clams from the skillet with a wire-mesh strainer or slotted spoon. Remove most of them from their shells – saving a few in their shells. Place all shelled clams back into the skillet with the remaining liquid.
                4. Cook the linguine until al dente. Drain, and add the pasta to the clam sauce. Add the clams in their shells as well. Cook for 2 minutes. Toss with the parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
                5. Serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle with a little crushed red pepper for a kick.

                Ed's Review

                Other then the deathly allergic, who among us doesn’t love a delicious bowl of linguine with clams? Fresh clams, garlic, parsley, olive oil. You crave. It delivers. Imagine this perfect day. You start off with some fresh mozzarella di bufala, ripe tomato, and just picked basil. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can still smell the bread as it came from the oven the thought of its crust makes your mouth water. Perhaps a slice of prosciutto is draped nearby. Someone pours you a bottomless glass of Verdicchio. You are surrounded and served by beautiful people. You laugh with a good friend. Puccini is in the background. In the foreground, sailboats bobble as you look over a cliff onto the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea. A cool breeze blows while you decide whether you still need your sunglasses. The linguine alle vongole arrives. Perfection. Ahhh, la dolce vita.

                Now snap out of it, and just be happy that I’m giving you a good recipe that you can make at home, while your kids scream in the background and you overlook a sea of bills. Savor the taste, I tell you. It ain't much, but it's all you got! That, and your dreams.

                5 thoughts on &ldquoSpaghetti Con le Vongole (Clams)&rdquo

                Love pasta with clams. I use manila or cockles and at the very end like to add some lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon.

                Love pasta with vongole. I use Manila or cockes and at the very end add a bit of lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon.

                I thought my linguine with clams was pretty good until I tried your recipe. I had the same ingredients as yours but my proportions were out of whack. Thank you for making me look good. My wife fell in love with me all over again. Grazie! Guido.