Spaghetti alle vongole (Spaghetti and clams)

Spaghetti alle vongole is a very popular dish in Naples. This is an original  Neapolitan recipe from Maria. You can cook it with or without tomatoes.

Spaghetti alle Vongole (© Portanapoli.com)

Spaghetti alle Vongole (© Portanapoli.com)

This dish is for the Neapolitans a joyful emotion and a temptation for the palate. Probably you can divide the Neapolitan people asking if they eat “Spaghetti e vongole in bianco” (without tomatoes) or “Spaghetti e vongole col pomodorino” ( with cherry tomatoes).
The spaghetti e vongole is also one of the main dish of the Neapolitan Christmas Eve dinner.

Recipe Spaghetti with clams (Spaghetti alle Vongole)


Ingredients (4-5 persons)
Fresh small clams in shells 500 gr. (1.1 pound),
Cherry tomatoes 200 gr. (0.44 pound).
Chopped garlic 2 cloves
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Chopped parsley 1/4 cup
Spaghetti 500 gr. (1.1 pound) (as alternative: vermicelli or linguine).

1. Wash and keep the clams in salt water for half an hour before cooking.
2. Cut each tomatoes into 2-3 pieces.
3. In a sauce pan over medium heat, saute garlic in oil until light blond.
4. Add tomatoes, salt, half of parsley . Stir slowly and cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add drained clams, stir and cover till the clams are open (3-4 minutes). If the sauce is too dry add 1/4 cup boiling water from the pasta pan.
6. Drain the spaghetti cooked al dente and put back into the same pasta pan, pour on the clam juice from the sauce pan and stir for 1 minute over medium heat (You can start to cook pasta, in the pan with boiling water, when adding tomatoes to sauce pan).
7. Top each dish with clams and the rest of parsley and then serve.

To cook the recipe without tomatoes spring simply the step nr. 4

A dry cold white wine is the right accompaniment for the Spaghetti e vongole

…and the end do not forget a cup of Neapolitan caffè!