Try our linguine alle vongole recipe, then check out clams in garlic butter with parsley soda bread, garlic chilli clams on sourdough toast and our drunken clams with chorizo. Plus, discover more linguine recipes.

How to make the perfect linguine alle vongole: cook's tips

  • The crucial thing with this recipe is to get all the ingredients prepped, chopped and ready to go before you start, as it’s all going to come together really quickly
  • Make sure you warm serving bowls or plates, too, before you start cooking

Linguine alle vongole recipe


  • 1kg medium clams, cleaned (e.g. Palourdes)
  • 450g linguine
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 20g flat leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated and finely chopped
  • 1 medium red chilli, sliced
  • 250ml white wine


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 thick slices stale sourdough or crusty bread, blitzed to coarse breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes


  • STEP 1

    A couple of hours before you’re going to cook, put the clams in a bowl of cold water under a gently trickling tap for half an hour – this will encourage them to give up their grit. Before you’re about to start cooking, drain, rinse and check for any broken shells, discarding any of these.

  • STEP 2

    To make the pangrattato, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan, then add the breadcrumbs and chilli. Fry, stirring constantly, for 8 mins or until deeply golden and crispy. When the crumbs are crispy and dry, scrape them into a bowl.

  • STEP 3

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt it really well. Cook the linguine for 5-6 mins or until al dente – you’re going to make the clam sauce while the linguine cooks, so get your skates on!

  • STEP 4

    Heat the olive oil in a wide, lidded, heavy-based frying pan or shallow casserole and cook the garlic, parsley stalks and chilli, stirring, for a couple of minutes, just to take the edge off the garlic but not brown it. Add the clams, tossing in the oil, followed quickly by the wine, which will bubble up and meld with the clam juice and oil. Cover with a lid and cook, shaking the pan constantly for 4-6 mins to get all the clams over the heat, until the clams are opening. Pluck out as many shells as you can in this time, as the sauce reduces. You want to keep about half of the shells in there with the pasta.

  • STEP 5

    Once the pasta is just al dente, drain it (reserving a little of the cooking water) and add into the pan along with the clams and a splash of the pasta water. Shake to emulsify, then toss in the parsley leaves. Turn off the heat and cover with the lid, allowing the pasta to soak up the sauce for a couple of minutes while it finishes cooking. Transfer to a large, warmed serving bowl or individual bowls and serve at the table with finger bowls, a big bowl for the shells and the pangrattato to scatter over.

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