Spaghetti vongole

Spaghetti vongole

Serves 4

  • 1 kg small clams, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, scrubbed clean

  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 10 cherry tomatoes

  • 250 ml white wine

  • 400 g dried spaghetti

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1-2 dried chillies

Put a pan of water on to boil. While that's happening, sort through your cleaned clams and if there are any that aren't tightly closed, give them a sharp tap. If they don't close, throw them away. Put a large pan with a lid on a high heat and let it heat up. Finely slice the parsley stalks, then put them to one side and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and chop the garlic, quarter the tomatoes and get your wine ready.



Add the pasta to the boiling water with a good pinch of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente. About 5 minutes before your pasta is ready, get ready to start cooking – you'll have to be quick about this, so no mucking about! Put 4 generous lugs of extra virgin olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic, parsley stalks and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Crumble in the dried chilli and add the chopped tomatoes. Stir everything around constantly and just as the garlic starts to colour, tip in the clams and pour in the wine. It will splutter and steam, so give everything a good shake and put the lid on the pan. After about 3 or 4 minutes the clams will start to open, so keep shuffling the pan around until all of them have opened. Take the pan off the heat. Get rid of any clams that haven't opened.



By now your pasta should be just about perfect. Drain and add to the pan of clams along with the parsley leaves and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Stir or toss for a further minute or two to let the beautiful seashore juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta. Serve right away. No sane Italian would eat this dish without some fresh hunks of bread to mop up the juices. Beautiful!



PS The first time you make this it will be good, but you might find things don't come together exactly at the right time. But don't worry, this dish is all about confidence and the more you make this, the more you'll find the pasta and clams are ready and perfect at the same time. And then it will be great!

Nutritional Information

Spaghetti vongole

With clams cooked in white wine

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This delicious Venetian clam pasta started life as peasant food, and has become an Italian classic
Serves 4
30m
Super easy
Print this recipe
Method

Clams were, and still are, available in Venice by the boatload. So much so that they're even considered peasant food. Although this recipe originates from Venice, it's so delicious that it's now become a classic Italian dish. People can be picky about whether or not it should be made with or without tomatoes, but personally I like the subtle colour and sweetness they add to the dish. The most important thing about it is timing everything so you get perfectly steamed clams and al dente pasta. Once you've made it a couple of times your intuition will kick in and you'll be able to make it quickly and perfectly every time.

Put a pan of water on to boil. While that's happening, sort through your cleaned clams and if there are any that aren't tightly closed, give them a sharp tap. If they don't close, throw them away. Put a large pan with a lid on a high heat and let it heat up. Finely slice the parsley stalks, then put them to one side and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and chop the garlic, quarter the tomatoes and get your wine ready.

Add the pasta to the boiling water with a good pinch of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente. About 5 minutes before your pasta is ready, get ready to start cooking – you'll have to be quick about this, so no mucking about! Put 4 generous lugs of extra virgin olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic, parsley stalks and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Crumble in the dried chilli and add the chopped tomatoes. Stir everything around constantly and just as the garlic starts to colour, tip in the clams and pour in the wine. It will splutter and steam, so give everything a good shake and put the lid on the pan. After about 3 or 4 minutes the clams will start to open, so keep shuffling the pan around until all of them have opened. Take the pan off the heat. Get rid of any clams that haven't opened.

By now your pasta should be just about perfect. Drain and add to the pan of clams along with the parsley leaves and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Stir or toss for a further minute or two to let the beautiful seashore juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta. Serve right away. No sane Italian would eat this dish without some fresh hunks of bread to mop up the juices. Beautiful!

PS The first time you make this it will be good, but you might find things don't come together exactly at the right time. But don't worry, this dish is all about confidence and the more you make this, the more you'll find the pasta and clams are ready and perfect at the same time. And then it will be great!

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 824
    41%
  • Carbs 77.6g
    30%
  • Sugar 5.9g 7%
  • Fat 31.8g 45%
  • Saturates 4.4g 22%
  • Protein 46.0g 102%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 1 kg small clams, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, scrubbed clean

  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 10 cherry tomatoes

  • 250 ml white wine

  • 400 g dried spaghetti

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1-2 dried chillies