Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce (Spaghetti con Vongole)

This is one of my daughter’s favorite meals. “Mom. Are we having clams and spaghetti tonight?” I hear it all the time. She really does love it and ate A LOT of it in Italy. And man, was it good there. Something about their incredible olive oil. Totally changes the taste of the entire dish. So, always buy the best olive oil you can afford. It is worth it.

You can take this up a notch and use fresh clams of course. I do prefer the minced clams though. I’m not a big fan of large clams, and it’s just so much easier. Again, buy a good quality canned clam and juice.

  • 1 pound of spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 jars of Cento clam juice
  • 1 can of Cento minced clams, with their juice
  • 1/4 cup of white wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 1 teaspoon, or to taste, of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of minced, dried parsley
  • pinch of salt plus more to salt the water for cooking the pasta
  • a few grindings of black pepper

Fill a large pot with water. Turn heat to high. When reaches boiling point, salt liberally and add pasta. Cook to al dente.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil and pasta to cook, get a small saucepan and heat the olive oil and butter.

Add the garlic, red pepper and parsley. Cook to light golden. Do not burn the garlic. I cannot stress that enough. It will ruin the dish.

Lower the heat, add the clams with their juice, the clam juice, and wine. Turn heat up a bit to bring to a constant simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Once pasta is done, drain and place in a serving bowl. Pour clam sauce over top and serve immediately.


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