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Spaghetti with clams

  • 42 minutes
  • Easy
  • First Courses
This classic Italian recipe captures the flavor of the Mediteranean.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2 lb clams
  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


Carefully wash the clams, rinsing them under running water multiple times to remove any dirt or impurities.

Heat a large pan over medium heat with half the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the clams. Stir, then cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the clams open.

Remove the pan from the heat and, once the clams have cooled down, remove them from their shells. Reserve the cooking liquid and filter it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.

Peel, deseed and roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside. Put another pan over medium heat with the remaining oil. Peel and crush garlic with the side of a knife. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Remove garlic as soon as it turns golden and add tomatoes. Add the clam cooking liquid and cook for about 10 minutes. Adjust salt and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drain when al dente and toss with the sauce and clams.

Garnish with parsley and a grinding of black pepper.

Food History

Although it is impossible to know exactly when pasta was invented, there is now doubt that it became an important food for the Italians, many of who eat it on a daily basis. Even though pasta wasn’t created on the Italian peninsula it has become a symbol of Italy and it is in Italy that you can find the production of both types of wheat pasta: fresh and dry. Fresh pasta in Italy can be traced back to the Roman lagon, large sheets of dough that were cooked in the oven and covered with a sort of sauce. Dry pasta, on the other hand, was brought to Italy in the 12th century by the Arabs in Sicily. In fact, the first pasta factory in Europe was built in Palermo.

Did you known that...

According to some, pasta originally comes from China however in 11540 – 150 years prior to Marco Polo’s return from China – Arab sources suggest that near Palermo people ate “a food made of wheat in the shape of strings” called triyah, the ancestor of modern day pasta.

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