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Pasta alle Vongole

Photo: John Clark
Total time 35 mins
Yield Serves 6
The liquor (juice) from your freshly dug clams is the key sauce ingredient in this easy crowd-pleaser from Langdon Cook, blogger and author of Fat of the Land. If freshly dug clams seem especially sandy, soak them in a bucket of clean salt water for a few hours. Don't forget to tell people that it's totally acceptable to pick up the clams and slurp the meat right out of the shell.


  • Salt (optional)
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • About 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound dried linguine
  • 4 dozen littleneck clams, preferably small (4 to 5 lbs.), scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Nutrition Information

  • calories 462
  • caloriesfromfat 22 %
  • protein 23 g
  • fat 12 g
  • satfat 1.5 g
  • carbohydrate 60 g
  • fiber 1.9 g
  • sodium 386 mg
  • cholesterol 34 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Meanwhile, sauté shallot and garlic in oil in another large pot over medium-high heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup wine and cook 1 minute. Stir in chile flakes and tomatoes; cook 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Boil pasta 5 to 6 minutes, or until halfway done. Meanwhile, add clams to garlic mixture, increase heat to high, and cook, covered, 5 minutes.

  3. Scoop out 3/4 cup pasta water and reserve. Drain pasta and add to pan with clams. Cook together, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and clams have opened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add some pasta water or more wine if you want a juicier sauce. Discard any unopened clams. Toss pasta and clams with parsley.

  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.