Spaghetti con le Vongole

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A classic dish from the Italian repertoire. Use Palourde clams in this dish if you can find them.

Serves 4


Sea salt
400g spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, halved and green stem removed
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli
1kg fresh clams in their shell (discard any that are open or not tightly closed)
Chopped fresh parsley


1. Boil the water for the pasta and add a good pinch of sea salt. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large frying pan. Add the garlic and dried chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat. Don’t let the garlic brown. Discard the garlic.

3. Add the clams to the pan with a tablespoon of the hot pasta water. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes until all the clam shells are open (discard any that don’t open). Remove from heat, drain the pasta and toss with the clams and sauce. Serve immediately

Spaghetti con le Vongole with Cherry Tomatoes

– You can add fresh or tinned cherry tomatoes in this recipe – you will need about 3 fresh cherry tomatoes per person or 100g of tinned cherry tomatoes. Add them along with the garlic and chilli.

How to clean Clams
Scrub the clam shells well with a brush. If you wish, put them in a large bowl of cold water and sprinkle with a little polenta or porridge oats (the clams will eat this and it will get rid of the sand) and put the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour. You may need to do this a few times. Rinse and dry the clams.


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