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Spaghetti with clams

Traditional recipe in white or red

by Ada Parisi
5 min read

Spaghetti with clams: the pasta with clams is the first dish par excellence of Italian seafood cuisine. A dish that obviously is found throughout Italy but in the south of the Bel Paese, especially in Campania and Sicily, is in my opinion his best expressions. In Naples they call this dish poetically “Spaghetti with clams” and this is a recipe that always divides into factions. Some people prefer the pasta with clams strictly in black (only garlic and parsley) how to see in the VIDEO RECIPE on my YouTube channel, those in red but not too much, fillet with some fresh tomato Pachino (Cherry, piccadilly o datterino). I still can not decide which is my favorite version and continue to alternate the pasta with clams in white and red, waiting to finally decide.

What use pasta with clams?

Let us come to the pasta format to be used with clams: my favorite formats are the classics spaghetti number 3, the Linguine or the Spaghetti alla chitarra, those square, especially the version with some tomato strips. Obviously, the dough must be very strictly, al dente. Attention to the use of salt in the water of the dough, because the clams are already savory and risk of exceeding. Pay attention to the browning garlic in oil and chili: It must be a slight browning, because the risk that the taste of the clams is covered from garlic is high and you may find on your plate spaghetti garlic, oil and chilli with clams and not vice versa.

My pasta with clams strictly follows thea Neapolitan tradition: clams, fresh parsley (better if Hedgehog who is less invasive), garlic, a small piece of chili pepper. If you want to add tomatoes I suggest the Pachino (in the typology datterino, Cherry or Piccadilly), both fillets is cut in half and slightly confit (in a more modern and complex version). The spaghetti with clams is a dish much loved in Sicily and for me they smell of the sea, scent of my house.

First courses with clams, alternative

Remember that to my YouTube Channel you can also subscribe to receive updates on all the video recipes and videos on the made in Italy products. As for the recipes with clams, also the Sardinian variant, ie the spaghetti with clams, courgette and bottarga or greedy spaghetti with broccoli and clams or the spocket money with clams, broad beans, almonds and red mullet. Have a good day!

SPAGHETTI WITH CLAMS (original recipe)

Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 3 voted )


370 grams of noodles,, linguine or spaghetti alla chitarra

one kilogram of clams large

fresh parsley, to taste

a small piece of chili pepper (depends on how much you like spicy)

extra virgin olive oil, to taste

salt and pepper

a clove of garlic

10 Pachino tomato if you want to make pasta with tomato spotted clams)


Before you start making spaghetti with clams, look carefully at the VIDEO RECIPE on how you do in the traditional white version. If you read on you you will discover how to do if you want to also add some tomato strips.

First, remember to prepare a good pasta with clams clams must be well-bled, to limit the risk of finding sand inside clams. For this reason, you need to put the clams to purge for 5-6 hours in lightly salted water at room temperature. Then, wash the clams well under running water. A valid trick to find out if there is any dead mollusk full of sand and throw the clams one by one into the sink from above: If the clam is dead clams will open, so you will prevent the sand inside from ending up in the sauce.

Cut the stems of the parsley and set aside. Peel the garlic and crush it with the back of the knife. Put extra virgin olive oil in the pan, of the crushed garlic clove and the parsley stalks, warm up and add the clams. Cover and cook for a minute on high heat: as, with the heat, the clams will open, remove from the Pan and set aside. I remind you that those that remain closed are dead and should be discarded, not forzatele.

Strain the remaining water at the bottom of the pan: If you don't have a strainer in meshing, I recommend you do like me. Put a sheet of absorbent paper on your strainer and pour the cooking water of the clams: the impurities will stop on the paper towel and you will be just a taste of the sea.

Remove the clams from the shells and set aside. The modern kitchen has it that in the pot do not put anything that we can eat, hence no shells. But for me the poetry of spaghetti with clams is in those tastes the flavor of the sea, from which to remove the clams one by one. for that, I always keep a part of clams in the shell, but you do as you like.

If you want to add some tomato strips, it's time to peel the tomatoes, remove vegetation water and cut it into thin fillets.

Put the oil and garlic in the pan: when the oil is hot, combine the chili, tomatoes cut into fillets if you want to use them and get heat. Add half the parsley and, After 2-3 minutes, the water of clams. When the water and oil have formed an emulsion, combine clams and put out the fire. Add the rest of the parsley. Do not salt, because the clams are strongly savory.

Boil the pasta in salted water and, keeping aside the cooking water, drain it al dente. Sauté the spaghetti with the sauce, maintaining vigorously with the cooking water of the clams, to form a creamy emulsion, characteristic of pasta with clams, as you see in VIDEO RECIPE. Complete with a little fresh parsley and, If you like, a little fresh ground black pepper. Bon appétit!

Spaghetti with clams


MATCHING: We chose a Sicilian white from Etna with this plate of spaghetti with clams: a Etna bianco superiore, produced with pure Carricante grape variety from barone di Villagrande, belonging to the Consortium Etna Doc. It is a wine with a clear and intense aromas of apple and hawthorn, with a harmonious taste. Drink fresh.

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Fradefra - Chef in Holland January 22, 2015 - 11:15

Always tasty dish, Now you do in Middle world, sign of success :)
Good food at all :)

Sicilians creative in the kitchen January 22, 2015 - 11:19

Very true, a classic Italian cuisine successfully exported! Thanks for letting me visit, good job and good food! ADA

Not Only Sugar May 14, 2013 - 12:25

A must have that never tires!!!

Not Only Sugar

Sicilians creative in the kitchen May 14, 2013 - 13:51

You're right, is a dish in a cooking blog cannot be…I like both inventing though certain dishes are ' sacred '…Kisses!

Ketty V. May 14, 2013 - 11:30

A timeless dish,always nice,so fresh and so good!
Congratulations and thank you for joining my facebook page ;)

Sicilians creative in the kitchen May 14, 2013 - 11:54

Hi Ketty, Thanks to you! See you on Facebook then. A big kiss, ADA

Roberta Morasco May 14, 2013 - 11:22

OSS that dish!!! And by now then…
Very good really, me and the clams are one thing ;-)
One kiss! Roby

Sicilians creative in the kitchen May 14, 2013 - 11:25

Hello Robert!!! Myself and the clams we love each other, at least I hope that love is mutual! A big kiss, indeed great!

m4ry May 14, 2013 - 07:43

I'll tell you that I also like both versions…and face your pasta dish is fabulous ! Cabbage…It's not even 8, and puts already want..
A hug

Sicilians creative in the kitchen May 14, 2013 - 10:49

Hello Mary! Of course I also a pasta dish with clams I the great’ in both versions, but I have a slight tendency toward that with tomato…If you just want to eat it at 8, soaked in coffee, then I reached the goal! :-) A warm greeting

conunpocodizucchero.it May 14, 2013 - 07:02

I with tomato! but only one huh! ;-)
whole life!!!!!!!!!!!
PS: each day a better awakening with my adina huh?!?!?

Sicilians creative in the kitchen May 14, 2013 - 10:50

Hi Sweety!!!! You know I am in Milan the first of July? Maybe we will meet…. I put little tomato…a touch of red it takes, I'm from the South! A big kiss


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