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Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine with Clams)

Linguine alle Vongole
Linguine alle Vongole pictures (5 of 9)

Approximate to where I work, there is this charming little Italian restaurant–Trattoria Amici–with a very friendly hostess that serves some of the best Linguine alle Vongole I’d ever tasted.(The best one is here.)

My good friend E and I chanced upon Trattoria Amici not too long ago, when our Japanese counterparts were in town. Looking at the many choices on the Italian menu, E asked me what to order. I told her “Linguine alle Vongole.” She asked me what that was and I pointed her to the two old ladies sitting beside us (who happened to look like they have been dining at Trattoria Amici for their lifetime), slurping down their servings of linguine alle vongole.

It was a great choice. E and I finished our order to great satisfaction. Work lunches can be great, sometimes.

Since then, E and I are hooked on linguine alle vongole. We would call or message each other before lunch about our cravings, and then we would make our lunch pilgrimage to “clams”–our code name for linguine alle vongole.

We go to Trattoria Amici at least twice a week for the fix, and each time, we request the server to give us more clams. We would hungrily devour our serving until not a trace left. And then, we would ask for extra serving of the rolls to sob up the clam juice. Lunch has never been so satisfying, but a $25 lunch for worker bees like us turns out to be rather extravagant, especially at the frequency we have.

I told E that one of these days I was going to try making linguine alle vongole at home, and I would share my recipe with her.

My version doesn’t pale much in comparison. It’s delicious, quick, and almost hassle-free to make. And it calls for only a few key ingredients: linguine, clams, and white wine.

Here is my linguine alle vongole recipe, or linguine with clams, a much celebrated Italian recipe. I am happy with the result and that a $25 lunch is now less than $10 to make at home.

You can click on the top image to view the complete photo set of linguine alle vongole. Enjoy!

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41 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Eli

    Yummy looking. I am going to try making this at home when I can find some fresh clams. Linguine alle vongole is so tasty.

  2. i love clams/mussels with pasta – it’s just that where we live in Germany we do not get any fresh stuff. so i am hoping our move to Doha this summer will change all that!

  3. This is one of my favourites and it’s what my mum used to make us essentially every Saturday… fantastic!
    Would you let a pedantic annoying Italian make a little note about the recipe?
    I’m a bit scared of “cook the linguine as per packaging instruction”… expecially after what I saw some people do outside of Italy :)
    So, what you do is:
    1) Use lots of SALTY water (1 fist of rock salt is OK for 3/4 people) and cook pasta in a big pot. Don’t worry, the pasta won’t be too salty, even if the water is.
    2) Do NOT put oil in the cooking water. It is unnecessary and IMO leaves an aftertaste that I don’t really like.
    3) Don’t put the pasta in the water before it boils. If you do, you’ll end up with mushy pasta. Brrrrr….
    4) When you drain the pasta do NOT put it under cold water. Drain it and put it in the sauce as soon as possible (you should really start by doing the sauce, then add the pasta).

    I know, I’m annoying, but I’m very touchy about cooking pasta!!! :D

    Another slightly different thing I do when I cook clams is to let them open and then add wine and parsley, although I don’t know whether it really makes any difference at all (never tried the other way around).

    PS: love your blog and your photos are simply amazing!

    • Hi Nico – Thanks so much for your comment and the proper instructions of preparing linguine. I am not so good in making non-Asian recipes. Regarding clams, I will try your method the next time. I think you are right because the white wine might evaporate. Hope to see you more on Rasa Malaysia and your insightful comments. :)

  4. Eating365

    Beautiful photos, as always. They look look very clean and minimalist.

    Yes, the best linguine alle vongole can only be found in Italy. Glad you love the dish.

  5. Linguine alle Vongole is one of my all time favorite meals! My mother made it often and so do I. Your dish looks so beautiful! I can almost taste it! I agree with everything my fellow Italian, Nico, says. Also, after the clams open up, I like to remove them, add more clam juice and wine and reduce the liquid a bit. For me, this intensifies the clam flavor of the sauce.

  6. Guess Trattoria Amici will have 2 less VIP customers in future. :) This is my hubby’s favourite. Will bookmark it. Tks for sharing. ;)

  7. Yes, setting aside the clams when they just “opened up”….then they will be tender, juicy and moist. If not, overcooking them will make them so “rubbery”…..
    I need to cook myself some vongole pasta soon :)

    Just tried a recipe of yours. Been long overdue on my side.

  8. Bee – one word: DROOOL!!!!
    Absolutely LOVE pasta with clams! I hope my dad brings back some fresh clams soon for me to cook some :-)
    Love your pics as always too!

  9. Choy's Kitchen

    My whole family loves this pasta dish. And I do what Nico and Susan do: cook the clam first and when they open, take them out and put in the wine and parsley and reduce the liquid if necessary. Doing it this way make it unnecessary to add canned clam juice which may not always be available in the supermarket. And since clams are watery by nature, there should be enough juice to go around.

    This is mny first time to post a comment although I have been visiting your site for the past 2 years. Your recipes have enriched my kitchen and have made my family and friends very happy. The accompanying photos are always wonderful and a joy to behold.

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