Spaghetti Alle Vongole (Spaghetti With Clams)

Holiday season has arrived and if you do happen to be by the seaside, definitely give this super easy pasta dish a go. The recipe uses clams, but equally mussels or prawns could be a good substitute. Even on holiday I bring my Cole & Mason Derwent Salt & Pepper mills.

The place I was staying this year was near salt marshes where sea salt was harvested, and it worked so well in the grinder to season all of the beautiful produce available (including this pasta dish). This classic Italian dish uses the broth from the clams, seasoned with garlic, white wine, parsley and chilli flakes using my Cole & Mason Stadhampton Chilli & Spice Mill. Make sure you also have some crusty bread to mop up all the lovely juices.

Difficulty: Easy

Cooking & prep time: 5 minutes prep, 15-20 minutes cooking


1 packet of spaghetti (500g)

1.2kg of clams

1 large bunch of parsley

4 large garlic cloves

1 125ml glass of white wine

½ tsp of chili flakes

4 tbsp olive oil


1.)  Take 2 large pans (one with a lid and the other filled with water) to cook the pasta in. Use about 2 liters of water to cook the 500g of pasta. Season the water well with salt.  

 2. ) Start cooking the spaghetti once water is at a rolling boil. We want to cook this for around 12 minutes then we will add to the clams for last couple of minutes cooking.

 3. ) Take the garlic and parsley – chop garlic finely and cut the stalks off the parsley and chop finely too.

 4. ) In the 2nd pan (with lid), add 4 tbsp of olive oil and heat gently – now add the garlic, parsley stalks and chili flakes. Cook very gently to infuse the oil with flavor but not overcook the garlic.

 5. ) When the pasta has around 5 minutes to go, turn up the heat and throw in the white wine. Let this bubble away for a minute and then add the clams – put lid on the pan and let the steam cook. They will begin completely closed and open as they cook – this should only take 2-3 mins.

 6. ) Take the lid off a couple of time and move the clams around until all open. (If you have some that will not open, discard at this stage). Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

 7.) Now move quickly to drag the pasta out of the pan and straight into your clams. Do not drain the pasta – use tongs to move it over. Now mix the clams and spaghetti together and leave on heat for a minute or 2 to finish cooking the pasta. If it gets a little dry – add a ladle if the pasta water.

8.) Final step is to add the remaining parsley (chopped finely) and serve in a wide bowl with a wedge of lemon and some crusty bread


Note: the clams I bought were already washed, so I was able to use straight away. If they have not been washed, you need to place in a large basin if cold water for 10 minutes and let sand out of them. Repeat 2-3 times until no sand comes out..

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