Spaghetti Alle Vongole: A Delicious White Clam Pasta

Classic Italian Spaghetti Alle Vongole Recipe - Authentic Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce

Transport your taste buds to the Italian coast with this classic Spaghetti alle Vongole in Bianco. This light yet flavorful pasta dish combines briny clams, aromatic garlic, and a splash of white wine for a truly memorable meal.

The Perfect Clam Pasta: Shells Optional

While traditionally served with clams in their shells, we’ve reimagined this dish for maximum enjoyment. By removing most clams from their shells, you’ll get the perfect bite of pasta and tender clam meat in every forkful. Don’t worry – we’ll keep a few shells for that Instagram-worthy presentation!

Selecting and Preparing Your Clams

For this recipe, you can use littlenecks, Manila clams, or cockles. Whichever variety you choose, it’s crucial to purge them of any sand or grit. Simply soak the clams in salted water, changing it every 30 minutes until the water runs clear. Your taste buds will thank you for this extra step!

The Secret to Silky Sauce

The magic of this dish lies in its sauce. We’ll infuse olive oil with garlic and chili flakes, then add white wine and clam juices to create a light yet flavorful coating for the pasta. The starchy pasta water helps emulsify everything into a silky sauce that clings to every strand of spaghetti.

Let’s Get Cooking: Spaghetti alle Vongole Recipe


  • Kosher salt
  • 4 pounds (1.8kg) fresh small clams, such as littlenecks, Manilas, or cockles (about 4 dozen littlenecks or 5 dozen Manilas or cockles)
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 medium cloves garlic (1/2 ounce; 15g), very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine
  • 1 pound (454g) dried spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter (optional)
  • Small handful minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. Purge the clams by soaking them in salted water. Repeat until the water is clear of sand.
  2. In a large skillet, gently cook garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil until the garlic is golden.
  3. Add wine and clams to the skillet. Cover and cook on high heat, removing clams as they open.
  4. Once cooled, remove clam meat from shells, reserving a few whole clams for garnish.
  5. Cook spaghetti in lightly salted water until just shy of al dente. Reserve some pasta water.
  6. Combine pasta with the white wine sauce in the skillet. Cook over high heat, adding pasta water as needed to create a creamy emulsion.
  7. Add butter (if using), clam meat, and reserved whole clams. Cook until heated through.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

A Taste of the Sea in Every Bite

This Spaghetti alle Vongole is more than just a meal – it’s an experience. The briny sweetness of the clams, the subtle heat from the chili flakes, and the al dente pasta create a symphony of flavors and textures. Pair it with a crisp white wine, and you’ll feel like you’re dining on the Amalfi coast!

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
925 Calories
17g Fat
99g Carbs
79g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 925
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 168mg 56%
Sodium 3172mg 138%
Total Carbohydrate 99g 36%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 79g
Vitamin C 58mg 292%
Calcium 264mg 20%
Iron 11mg 61%
Potassium 1867mg 40%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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