Spaghetti with Clams

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Serves 4 


1 kg of vongole (clams) cleaned 

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 

1/4 cup of olive oil   

1 teaspoon of finely chopped chilli 

1 generous glass of white wine 

Spaghetti for 4 people (100gm is a generous serving per person


1. Place a large pot of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil, add the pasta and cook until almost al dente. 

2. Whilst your pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan (large enough to contain the vongole and spaghetti later), lightly cook the garlic and chilli.

3, Put the vongole in the saucepan with the garlic and chilli, pour in the wine, place lid on and cook for about 5 mins until they open. Discard any unopened vongole. 

4. Add the not-quite-cooked spaghetti, into the saucepan with the vongole and finish cooking it in the juices, to absorb the wonderful flavours

5. Mix in some of the fresh parsley and serve the rest sprinkled on top. 

Traditionally with seafood, no cheese is added. 

I usually add an extra trickle of olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper. 

"This is the very first dish I ever had in Venice. We had sailed into San Marco at day-break and had to wait a few hours for high tide before we could get Barinia into her berth. We ate spaghetti alle vongole on the fondamenta watching life go by on the water, sipping a cold Veneto wine – I thought I was in heaven! I fell in love then and there – with Venice and this dish."