Spaghetti with clams (alle vongole) is a simple Italian staple. Lemon, garlic and parsley douse the silky pasta and juicy clams!
1 lb. spaghetti
24 clams, preferably littleneck or manila variety*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup of fresh garlic, chopped (approximately 1 small head)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 large lemons)
fresh black pepper
- Before you start cooking, prepare all of your ingredients. Chop garlic, squeeze lemons for juice, chop parsley, etc. You want everything ready in advance because the cooking process goes very quickly.
- Place your clams in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to sit in the cold water for 10 minutes, then rinse and scrub away any remaining dirt.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Season water very generously with salt and add spaghetti. Cook spaghetti until almost al dente. It should still have a toothsome bite in the middle but be flexible (approx 5-6 minutes). Don't worry, the pasta will finish cooking in the clam pan.
- While the spaghetti cooks, add olive oil to a large pan with deep sides. When the oil is hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add clams and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and using tongs, add spaghetti directly to the clam pan. Add lemon juice, parsley, 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of pasta water from the spaghetti pot.
- Vigorously toss, then turn the heat up to high and cover.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the pasta sauce has thickened up and the clams have opened.
- If any of your clams remain closed, discard them before serving.
- Serve immediately with extra fresh parsley and black pepper on top!
*small clams are preferable.
**When cooking clams, any that remained tightly sealed are dead and should be thrown out. If you have some that open just a little, you can still eat those!
- Category: Pasta, Seafood
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: clams, vongole, spaghetti, spaghetti with clams, italian pasta, seafood pasta, manila clams, littleneck clams