Spaghetti with Clams


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This dish from Calabria in southern Italy. You can also substitute mussels for clams.

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Time needed

90 min cooking


  • 68 little-neck clams
  • bouquet garni
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/3 C. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 lg. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 leaves basil, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • pepper

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Wash the clams thoroughly in cold water and rinse 3 times to remove the sand. Put them in a large saucepan, cover with water and add the bouquet garni. Boil them for 5 minutes until all the shells are open. Remove from the shells and rinse in cold water. Boil the spaghetti in salted water for 10-15 minutes until cooked al denti. To make the sauce, heat the oil and sauté the onion for 4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and sauté one minute. Stir in the tomatoes and basil and season. Simmer for 8 minutes. Reheat the spaghetti in the butter and stir in 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Mix the clams with sauce and continue to simmer until they are hot. Pour the spaghetti into a warm serving dish, and stir in the clams and sauce gently. Sprinkle on the rest of the parmesan or serve it separately. Serve at once.

Serve with: Chopped Romaine with Mint

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