Italian Talisman Italian Cook Book

Spaghettini alla Vongole

Spaghettini alla Vongole, or thin noodle spaghetti with clams is a popular dish throughout Italy, often served in a simple olive oil or butter sauce with garlic. This dish opts for a light tomato based sauce but to great effect.

The brine from the clams creates an excellent counter point to the tomato sauce and the fresh pop of parsley rounds this dish out nicely.


2 1/2 lbs of Little Neck clams
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 lb spaghettini


  1. Clean clams thoroughly by purging the sand in their mouths.
  2. In a large pot add 1 table spoon of olive oil and cook the clams, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally until all shells are open.
  3. With a slotted spoon remove clams from pot. Take them out of their shells and reserve, leaving a few in shells for decoration. Strain the liquid in the pot to remove sediment.
  4. In a small sauce pan add half a cup of olive oil. Under medium heat brown garlic. Then, add tomato paste, clam juice, salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water if necessary.
  5. Add clams and parsley and keep warm.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add spaghettini.
  7. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Garnish with remaining clams in shell and some additional parsley.