Recipe: Spaghetti alle vongole

Recipe: Spaghetti alle vongole

20m prep | 20m cook

Last updated

Few dishes offer more reward for less effort than spaghetti alle vongole. A glug of olive oil and a splash of white wine, plus a little garlic and chilli, get tossed together with the briny juices from the clams and the starchy pasta cooking water to create a slick, glossy and (most importantly) flavourful sauce that clings to both the pasta and your heart.

For an extra umami kick, we add a splash of high quality anchovy sauce, then finish it off with a sprinkling of parsley, a grind of black pepper and a grating of Pilu’s locally-made bottarga: cured mullet roe that adds richness, vibrancy and a beautiful hit of colour.

We recommend using a quality pasta for a dish as simple like this. I Due Pastori pasta is dried without having been cooked first (unlike most supermarket pastas), making it easy to perfect that al dente texture.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1.5kg live vongole clams, cleaned
  • 500g dried spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup verjuice
  • 2 tsp high quality fish sauce or garum
  • Bottarga (to serve)
  • Finely chopped parsley (to serve)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to serve)
  • Lemon wedges or halves (to serve)

Add salt to a large pot of boiling water (it should taste like the sea), then add the pasta and cook until almost al dente.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or pot over a medium heat, and gently cook the garlic and chilli. Add the verjuice and bring to a simmer, then add the cleaned clams, stir, and cover with a lid. Cook for 6 minutes (or until all clams have opened), stirring once or twice, then reduce heat and add the fish sauce.

Transfer pasta to the clam pot, including 3 tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid, and add the parsley. Stir until well combined, and until pasta becomes al dente. Adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve on a large platter or in individual bowls, and top with freshly ground black pepper and grated bottarga. Serve with fresh lemon and bread.

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