Spaghetti alle Vongole Recipe
What is spaghetti alle vongole?
If you have been to Italy or dine out at authentic Italian restaurants, it’s very likely that you have tried or seen this iconic Italian pasta dish.
Vongole means clams in Italian, so it literally means spaghetti with clams.
The pasta of choice is spaghetti and the fresh clams are cooked with olive oil, butter, garlic, white wine and Italian parsley.
This Italian clam pasta is one of my favorite pasta recipes.
It’s absolutely delicious, bursting with the natural briny sweetness of fresh clams, with the garlic, butter, wine and herb sauce.
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How to Make Spaghetti alle Vongole?
Eating out at Italian restaurants, this clam spaghetti could be $20 and above per serving.
However, this pasta dish is actually very easy to make at home and homemade spaghetti with clams cost you less than $5 per serving.
To make the pasta, first, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Save some pasta water for cooking.
Next, heat up a skillet with olive oil and butter, saute the clams and add white wine and pasta water.
Add the spaghetti into the clam sauce, stir to combine well and serve immediately.
Cook’s Tips on the Best Spaghetti with Clams
To make the best and authentic spaghetti alle vongole just like how it’s served in Italy, here are my cooking tips:
- Do not overcook the spaghetti pasta. Each strand of the pasta noodle should have a firm bite in the center. The pasta will be added to the sauce so they will be cooked twice. The texture should be al dente when it’s served.
- Do not overcook the clams. As soon as the clam shells are open, they are cooked. If the clam shells don’t open at the same time, pick them out as soon as they are open. When they are all cooked, return them back into the skillet before adding the pasta.
- Discard any clams that are not open as they are probably stale or dead, and might have a foul smell.
- Use a fruity white wine to make the clam sauce. If you can’t take alcohol, you may skip it and use water or chicken broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Clams Can I Use?
I personally love Manila clams as they are meaty and briny.
If you can’t find Manila clams, you can use fresh little neck clams or cherry stone clams. Both of them deliver equally amazing results.
Can I Use Canned Clams for the Recipe?
Yes, you can. If you can’t find fresh and live clams such as Manila clams or little neck clams, canned clams will be a great substitute.
Just make sure you discard the clam juice from the can before making this pasta.
Can I Make the Pasta without White Wine?
Yes, you can. Just replace white wine with water or chicken broth if you don’t want to use white wine as your ingredient.
Can I Use Other Pasta?
For the best results, please use spaghetti, thick spaghetti, spaghetti rigati or linguine.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
This recipe is only 573 calories per serving.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
Serve this clam pasta with your favorite glass of white wine. For a restaurant-style Italian meal at home, I recommend the following recipes.
Pairs well with:
- 12 oz thick spaghetti or linguine
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced horizontally
- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs Manila clams, scrubbed, cleaned, and rinsed
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 1/2 cup white wine or Japanese cooking sake
- 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
- Salt to taste
- Lemon wedges, for garnishing
- Heat up a pot of water and cook the thick spaghetti or linguine until al dente (with a bite in the center of the pasta) per the packaging instructions. Drained and set aside. Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- Heat up a deep skillet, add olive oil and butter. Lightly saute the garlic until you sell the aroma, but not browned.
- Add the clams, pasta water and white wine. (If you can't have alcohol, use water or chicken broth.) Lightly stir the clams and cover the skillet with its lid until the clams open up. Add chicken bouillon powder, ground black pepper and Italian parsley.
- Add the pasta into the skillet. Quickly stir to combine well with the clams and sauce. Add salt to taste. Dish out and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
I used Knorr brand chicken bouillon powder. You may use water or chicken broth to replace the white wine in the recipe.
You may not need salt in the recipe as clams are briny.
Amount Per Serving Calories 573Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 33mgSodium 399mgCarbohydrates 68gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 20g