Spaghetti Vongole

Spaghetti with clams

INGREDIENTS- (Four people)

-3 tablespoons (45ml) extra virgin olive oil

– 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

– 2 lbs. (908 grams) littleneck or Manila clams scrubbed

– 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

– 1 ½ cup (480 ml) dry white wine

-1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter

-1 medium red onion, diced into ¼ inch

-2 medium zucchini, julienned

– 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

– fresh ground pepper

-1 lb. (454 grams) spaghetti or fettuccine

-A mandolin can facilitate julienning the zucchini – if you have one don’t hesitate to use it. Look for # 11 spaghetti. You can also substitute scialatelli for fettuccine.


Heat a 10-12 inch skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When it is hot, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, uncovered, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the clams; put on high heat, and cook, tossing constantly for 2 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and wine; cook until the wine has been reduced by one-third, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the clams open, 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, still covered.

When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and set aside in a small bowl. Discard any unopened clams. Strain the clam broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve or a coffee filter into a bowl.

Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel, place the butter in it and heat over medium heat until it has melted. Add the onion and zucchini and cook until it is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the clams and the strained liquid to the pan, turn the heat to low, and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are combined, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, cover to keep warm.

While the sauce is cooking, fill a 10-quart stockpot with 7 quarts (6.5 liters) of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Add the pasta, stir, and cook until al dente.

Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, and drain the pasta. Add it to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine. If the pasta looks dry, add the reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing to combine between additions. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.