Spaghetti alle vongole

Such a classic pasta dish. Its beauty is in its sea-inspired simplicity; clam shells fan wide to display their delicious wares amongst waves of salty spaghetti spiked with red chilli and garlic.

Some people add tomato to their vongole, and that’s fine and nice, I think I prefer this ‘bianco’ version because somehow the whole thing can get over-tomatoe’d.

It can be tricky to find clams to buy in the UK; I ordered mine from the fish man who comes round in his van every week. But it’s well worth making the effort to track some down. I understand that it’s easy to buy UK clams in Mediterranean countries.


  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fat red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 250g of clams in shells
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • knob of butter
  • sea salt
  • half a fresh lemon
  • 180g of dried spaghetti
  • fresh parsley to serve

Nuush clients: Please apply the portion sizes stated in your account and divide the recipe so that you make only as much you need.


I bought clams that were already washed and frozen in their shells. If you do the same you will need to defrost them then rinse in a colander under running cold water. Otherwise, with non-frozen clams just give them a good rinse.

Put your spaghetti on to cook in a large pan of boiling salted water.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a wide heavy pan and gently fry the garlic and chilli until softened but not browned. Throw in the clams with an exciting shell’y clatter! Give it all a stir to coat the clams in the chilli, garlic and oil then add the white wine and sizzle it off. The clams will open up; discard any that don’t.

Now drain the cooked spaghetti and throw it into the pan with the clams (that’s why you need a big pan!), ad a large knob of butter and stir it through, this will add a bit of extra unctuousness, and is optional.

Tip: Don’t over-drain spaghetti (or any pasta) the starchy water will add to the dish and stop any clumping.

Serve scattered with fresh chopped parsley and a quarter of a lemon each to add some brightness.

Nutrition Info


Eating a wide variety of shellfish should leave you feeling far from crabby! They’re packed with a diverse range of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals):

  • Iron – transports oxygen around the body and supports the immune system and energy production.
  • Zinc – supports a healthy immune system and gene expression.
  • Magnesium – an integral part of bones and teeth as well as being a key player in energy production and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
  • Vitamin B12 – is crucial for a healthy brain and nervous system. It also helps form red blood cells and helps to create and control DNA. Every cell in the body depends on B12 as it plays a part in the synthesis of fatty acids and energy production.

Shellfish are also a rich source of protein and hold a healthy reservoir of omega-3 fatty acid which is vital for optimal health. However, if something smells (very) fishy, you probably shouldn’t eat them.

Good honest nutrition

Why did the prawn not share his sunglasses?

He was shellfish.

Portion Guidelines

Instead of living with the bore of weighing food, counting points or calories and tapping everything you eat into a phone you can use nature’s custom-designed tool – your hands!

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