Spaghetti with Clams
Loaded with clams and paired with fresh zucchinis, this light and refreshing pasta is the perfect spring dish.
I have a thing for Pasta alle Vongole, or the Italian words for clams pasta. This is the dish that I always order at Italian restaurants. Just the sheer mention of the name would set my mouth watering.
However, dining out, it’s expensive. Lucky for me, I can cook just about anything.
How to Make Clams Pasta
Homemade clams pasta is very easy. The recipe calls for only few key ingredients: spaghetti, Manila clams (or little neck clams), garlic, white wine, Italian parsley and olive oil (and butter).
It’s that simple. To make the dish even better, I added zucchini, which is seasonal and healthy.
You will need copious amount of white wine for this Spaghetti with Clams recipe. The white wine allows the clams to steam and cook, hence flavoring the pasta with the briny taste of the fresh clams.
Together with olive oil, garlic, salt, ground black pepper and Italian parsley, magic happens. A squirt of fresh lemon juice completes the taste.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Spaghetti with Clams
- Manila Clams – I prefer Manila clams as they are “meatier” and have a robust briny flavors that make the white wine clam sauce to die for. Be generous with your clams. Use a good 1.5-2 lbs clams
- Al Dente – cook the pasta al dente so there is a bite.
- White wine or Japanes cooking sake – I find Japanese cooking sake a great substitute for white wine.
- Butter – other than olive oil, add some butter. Butter makes everything better!
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Spaghetti with Clams and Zucchini Recipe
Spaghetti with Clams and Zucchini - easy spaghetti pasta with clams and zucchini, white wine, olive oil, butter and garlic. Weeknight dinner is ready in 20 mins.
- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs Manila clams or little neck clams
- 8 oz. spaghetti
- 1/2 lb zucchini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 - 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup white wine or Japanese cooking sake
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3 dashes ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Soak the clams in salted water for 10 minutes. Scrub the surface and rinse with cold water a few times until the water becomes clear. Drain and set aside.
Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Trim the ends of the zucchini. Cut them into rounds, and then into halves.
Heat up a skillet with the olive oil and melted butter. Use up to 4 tablespoons of butter for the best result. Saute the garlic until they turn light brown, add the clams and stir a few times before adding the white wine. As soon as the clams start to open up, add the zucchini, salt, ground black pepper and lemon juice. Stir and cook until all the clams open up.
Transfer the spaghetti into the skillet, stir to combine well with the clams. Add the chopped parsley, stir to mix well. Serve immediately.
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