New recipes

Spaghetti with clams recipe

Spaghetti with clams recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Spaghetti

This popular trattoria dish is easily made at home. Serve with chunks of ciabatta bread and a green salad – and a glass of red wine.

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 150 g (5½ oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can plum tomatoes, about 400 g
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 340 g (12 oz) spaghetti
  • 48 clams in their shells, about 900 g (2 lb) in total, rinsed
  • 4 tbsp red or white wine

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chilli, and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them down with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle in the basil, parsley and sugar and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  3. Put the empty pasta pan back on the heat, add the clams and splash in the wine. Tip the pasta back in. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. All the shells should have opened; discard any clams that remain shut.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce into the spaghetti and clam mixture, and stir and toss over the heat for 1–2 minutes or until it is all bubbling. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Another idea

Make a tomato, olive and caper sauce with canned clams. Heat 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and fry 2 rashers of unsmoked lean back bacon, rinded and chopped. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped, and 1 chopped garlic clove. Cook for 5 minutes, then add a can of tomatoes, about 400 g, with the juice, crushing them down. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir a can of baby clams in brine, about 280 g, into the tomato sauce (with the brine), and add 8 black olives, roughly chopped, 1 tbsp capers and a handful of freshly torn basil leaves. Season with black pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes, then serve the sauce over the spaghetti.

Plus points

Clams are a good source of phosphorus, needed for healthy bones and teeth. * Contrary to popular belief, pasta is not a ‘fattening’ food. It is only when excessive amounts of oil, cream or butter are added to the accompanying sauces that the calorific value is considerably increased. Spaghetti has a low Glycaemic Index. * All mushrooms are a good source of copper, which has many important functions, including maintaining healthy bones and helping to prevent anaemia by improving the absorption of iron from food.

Each serving provides

Excellent source of copper, iron, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B6. Good source of folate, potassium, vitamin C, zinc. Useful source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

delicious and easy to make.-30 May 2010

Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

If I could, I'd probably eat this dish once a week. This is true for many pasta dishes but these days we are trying to cut back on the carbs and eat more healthy proteins. I think one of the problems is that pasta is so delicious you tend to easily over-eat and portion control goes out of the window.

Still, this spaghetti with clam sauce is so easy and outside of having fresh parsley and a lemon on hand during the winter, you probably have everything you need in the pantry to make this dish.

Katie Lee Biegel's Spaghetti With Clams Is a Simple Dish to Make for Pasta Night

The toasted garlic breadcrumb topping is a game changer.

Welcome to The Pioneer Woman Cookbook Club! This month, we're featuring Katie Lee Biegel, chef, Food Network star, and cookbook author of It's Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Every Day. Read on to find out about food traditions Katie hopes to share with her daughter, her favorite pantry items, and learn how to make her easy Spaghetti with Clams recipe.

Simple recipes are not only delicious, but they can also be the most memorable.

Katie Lee Biegel's latest cookbook, It&rsquos Not Complicated, is filled with no-fuss dishes like Turkey Meatloaf, Lemon Pasta, and Caramelized Onion Burgers that could all easily become new family staples.

For Katie, simple dishes are the best ones. When recalling the inspiration for her book, she mentions a scene in Nancy Meyers&rsquos It&rsquos Complicated&mdashthe film that also inspired the title&mdashwhere Alec Baldwin&rsquos character earnestly proclaims over breakfast that "Mommy is the best cook&mdashin the world."

&ldquoMy hope is that these recipes become the ones you make over and over again for your family. Just those comfortable recipes that when your kids are older, they&rsquoll say Mommy, you&rsquore the best cook,&rdquo she explains.

As a new mom to baby Iris, the Food Network star is conscious of the way memories in the kitchen can stick with us as we grow older. She recalls making biscuits with her grandma, something that she can&rsquot wait to do with Iris one day. She also points to the cookbook's Spaghetti with Zucchini that she and her husband Ryan had at their wedding. It&rsquos become a summertime tradition, hoping that it'll become a favorite of Iris&rsquos too.

&ldquoAnd of course, there are desserts like Whoopie Pies and Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies I think she&rsquoll be having when she comes home from school,&rdquo she says, both recipes which you'll find in the book too.

Familiar, easy meals carried Katie through both her pregnancy and the pandemic as The Kitchen star gravitated toward grilled cheese sandwiches, making them the way her grandpa used to with mayonnaise. Pantry recipes also became an easy go-to&mdashher Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta became such a popular dish that she made sure to squeeze it into the book.

&ldquoI've learned to always keep around ingredients that you can add to change up the flavors. Red curry paste, capers, lemons&mdashthings that you can just grab and add a lot of flavor to a dish,&rdquo she says.

Even her Spaghetti with Clams can be transformed into a simple pantry dish by swapping fresh clams for canned clams, she points out. While Katie normally makes this dish using littleneck clams caught right from the water behind their house in the Hamptons, the West Virginia native knows that fresh shellfish isn&rsquot always accessible, depending on where you live.

&ldquoClams were certainly something I never ate. As a kid, my grandpa would buy canned oysters and would bread and fry them and that was a real treat,&rdquo she says. &ldquoWhen I first moved here, I felt like I didn&rsquot know a lot about seafood, so I got a job in a fish market that was just opening up. That&rsquos how I learned about seafood and how to cook it&mdashjust from experimenting.&rdquo

Regardless of how you plan on making it, this Spaghetti with Clams is bound to become a family favorite. It&rsquos the perfect summer pasta recipe or easy weeknight dinner!

Spaghetti with clams

Spaghetti with clams directly from the Campania tradition, definitely one of the most important dishes of Italian cuisine and most loved among the first fish dishes


  • Spaghetti 320 g
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Clams 1 kg
  • Parsley 1 bunch
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Coarse salt for clams to taste


      1. To prepare spaghetti with clams, start by cleaning . Make sure there are no broken or empty shells, they will be discarded. Then move them to beat them against the sink, or possibly on a cutting board 1 . This operation is important to verify that there is no sand inside: the healthy bivalves will remain closed, those full of sand will open 1 . Then place the clams in a colander placed on a bowl and rinse them 2 . Place the colander in a bowl and add plenty of coarse salt. Soak the clams for 2-3 hours 3 .
      2. Once the time has elapsed, the clams will have purged any residual sand. In a saucepan, heat a little oil 4 . Then add a clove of garlic and, while this is flavored, drain the clams well, rinse them and dip them in the hot pan 5 . Close with the lid and cook for a few minutes on high heat 6 .
      3. The clams will open with heat, then shake the pan from time to time until they are completely open 7 . As soon as they are all open, immediately turn off the heat, otherwise the clams will cook too much. Collect the juice by draining the bivalves and don't forget to discard the garlic 8 . In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water and drain them halfway through cooking 9 .
      4. Then pour the sauce into a pan 10 , add the spaghetti and continue cooking using a little cooking water. In this way you will risotto the pasta. At the end of cooking also add the clams and chopped parsley 11 . One last flash and the spaghetti with clams are ready: serve immediately 12 !



      It is recommended to eat freshly made spaghetti with clams, but if you wish, you can keep them in the refrigerator for a maximum of day, closed with an airtight container. If you do not immediately consume the clams, you can keep them in the refrigerator in a large bowl filled with cold water or wrapped in a damp cloth.


      For the recipe of spaghetti with clams it is advisable to use excellent clams, to savor the delicious taste and freshness of the product! If you want to add some color, add some tomatoes to the dressing with the clams. In place of the pepper you can try frying some fresh red pepper! Finally, we suggest you also try spaghetti n.5 or spaghettoni instead of spaghetti n.3!

      Recipe Summary

      • 6 quarts water
      • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
      • ½ teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup water
      • 48 littleneck clams (about 3 pounds)
      • 2 ½ cups chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
      • 3 garlic cloves, minced
      • ⅓ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
      • ¼ cup extravirgin olive oil
      • Flat-leaf parsley sprigs

      Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta partially cover, and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 6 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, tossing well keep warm.

      While pasta cooks, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add clams cover and cook 6 minutes or until shells open. Remove clams from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid in pan. Add tomato and garlic reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in fresh parsley and oil cook 15 seconds. Serve tomato mixture and clams over spaghetti. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

      Spaghetti alle Vongole Recipe

      In this classic iconic Neopolitan dish, briny clams, white wine, garlic, and peperoncino create a light yet intensely flavorful spaghetti sauce.

      Use the freshest clams you can find and a high-quality dry pasta to make your spaghetti alle vongole. Then pair with a glass of Italian white wine!

      Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams)

      Recipe courtesy of Eataly

      2 pounds littleneck clams (may substitute manila clams or cockles)
      3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
      3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
      ½ teaspoon fresh oregano
      ½ teaspoon peperoncino
      ¼ cup white wine
      8 ounces dried spaghetti
      ¼ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, washed and chopped
      Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

      Place the clams in a bowl of cold water to soak, and set them aside.

      In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the garlic and oregano to the pan and cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant about 3 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the white wine to the pan, and bring the sauce to a boil.

      Meanwhile, carefully remove the clams from the bowl, and discard the water. Transfer the clams to the sauté pan. Cover the pan, and steam the clams until they open, for about 6-10 minutes, depending on their size. Remove the clams to a serving bowl as they open, and discard any that don’t open after 10 minutes.

      Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season it with salt until it is as salty as the sea. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.

      When the spaghetti is al dente, transfer directly to the pan with the clam sauce, stirring to coat. Add a ladleful of pasta cooking water to the pan, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Return the clams to the pan with the pasta to warm them through and sprinkle the pasta with the chopped parsley. Toss gently to incorporate all ingredients, and serve your spaghetti alle vongole immediately while its hot.

      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.


      • 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


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


      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.

      Also worth your attention:


      Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature


      In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic salt and stir in breadcrumbs and toss to coat.

      Increase heat to medium high and cook until breadcrumbs are just toasted golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

      Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Cook pasta al dente (I usually do about 2 minutes less than package directions). Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, do not rinse.

      Combine oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat (I put oil and garlic in a room temperature skillet and then bring to heat to avoid garlic burning.) Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly so that garlic does not burn.

      Add pinch of crushed red pepper and stir in white wine and about ¼ cup pasta water. Bring to a low simmer, add clams and cover. Cook about 5 minutes

      Stir in butter and pasta, tossing to coat the pasta. Let cook about 1 minute.

      Stir in parsley and serve topped with toasted breadcrumbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

      Spaghetti alle Vongole ( Spaghetti with Clams ) Recipe

      TRADITIONAL ITALIAN RECIPE: In Rome, most “vongole veraci,” characterized by variegated shells about 1 1/2 inches wide and by two little “horns” (siphons), are actually farmed Japanese littleneck clams rather than the prized, and increasingly rare, native species.

      They are most commonly used in spaghetti alle vongole, part of the pantheon of Roman pastas, carbonara, cacio e pepe and gricia are others, whose sauces are created directly on the cooked pasta. That means the dish is easy to put together but hard to fake: timing, temperature, an experienced hand and, especially, undivided attention make all the difference.

      Pasta with clams sounds fairly self-explanatory – but, as with any self-respecting Italian recipe, things are never quite so simple.

      Garlic and chilli should be softened in a pan, and then joined by clams and white wine, and left to steam away for a couple of minutes. Once the shells are open, the whole lot is tossed with spaghetti, sprinkled with chopped parsley, and served.

      Allow the pasta to sit in the sauce for a minute or so to absorb a little of it the sauce. It improves the flavour of the entire dish.

      Recipe Summary

      • Salt to taste
      • 1 pound spaghetti
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 small shallot, chopped (1/4 cup)
      • 1 garlic clove, minced (1 tsp.)
      • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
      • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      • 36 fresh littleneck clams (about 2 lb.), scrubbed
      • ½ cup dry white wine
      • ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and chives, divided
      • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (any kind)
      • 1 cup fresh corn, cut off the cob (from 1 ear of corn), optional

      Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt, and cook spaghetti according to package directions (setting aside plain pasta tossed with olive oil or butter on the kids' plates if that's the way it has to be).

      Meanwhile, heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. (It's not necessary to salt the clams are naturally briny.)

      Add clams, wine, and 1/3 cup herbs. Cover and cook about 6 minutes, or until the clams are partially open. Add the tomatoes and corn, if using, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, uncovered, or until the corn softens and the clams open completely. Discard any clams that haven't opened, then toss the whole thing with the pasta, making sure to scoop lots of the briny clam broth into the bowl. Top with additional 2 tablespoons of herbs, and serve with crusty bread for sopping.