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Spaghetti alle vongole

Spaghetti alle vongole, or spaghetti with clams, is an easy breezy delight of a pasta dish. In an extract from the River Cafe's new cookbook for children, The River Cafe Look Book, we find out how to do it right
Matthew Donaldson

It is important to toss the spaghetti well with the clams and the juice so they flavour the pasta.

Next on The River Cafe's cooking list, try their perfect spaghetti carbonara

Recipe extracted from The River Cafe Look Book: Recipes for Kids of all Ages  by Ruth Rogers, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli  (Phaidon, £24.95)

See all the best recipes from the House & Garden archive.

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4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 dried red chillies, crumbled
3kg (6lb 8 oz) small clams, washed thoroughly
bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (divided)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g (14 oz) spaghetti
1 lemon, quartered
  1. Method

    Step 1

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

    Step 2

    Add the garlic and fry over a medium heat for 1 minute until just beginning to brown. 

    Step 3

    Add the crumbled chillies, clams and 2 tablespoons of water.

    Step 4

    Cover and fry over a high heat for about 5 minutes until all the clams open. Discard any that do not open.

    Step 5

    Add half the parsley to the clams. 

    Step 6

    Season with pepper and some salt if needed; the clams may be salty.

    Step 7

    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

    Step 8

    Add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet (package) instructions. The spaghetti should be cooked until firm but still with a bite (al dente).

    Step 9

    Drain the spaghetti and add to the clams.

    Step 10

    Serve with the remaining parsley and the lemon quarters.

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