Spaghetti alle vongole

It’s been years since I’ve had Spaghetti alle vongole, eight to be precise!  It was late August and we were holidaying in Rome, we were at a gorgeous little restaurant, off the beaten track and the food was impeccable; fresh and flavoursome.  So good, that I still remember it almost a decade later!

Since my intolerance to garlic I have had to stay clear of ordering seafood marinara’s and the like in restaurants as most are pre-marinated and cooked with lots of garlic, which leaves me with only one option, to cook it myself.

We have a great fishmonger at the Queen Victoria Market, who we go to for our seafood, and on a recent visit saw vongole (pippies/clams) vacuum sealed and decided to give the dish a go.

Using Jamie Oliver’s recipe as a basis I cooked Spaghetti alle vongole for the first time on Good Friday. It was a hit with everyone, it was delicious and took me straight back to that little restaurant in Rome, all those years ago!

See my take below.


  • 1kg of cleaned vongole
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • olive oil & extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 packet spaghetti


  1. Bring to boil a saucepan of water. Once boiled add a tablespoon of salt and a tiny drop of olive oil. Add the spaghetti and cook to packet instructions til al dente (or personal taste).
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat a shallow dish with a tablespoon of olive oil, cook spring onions, chilli, garlic clove (whole), and half the parsley and lightly cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato with some salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes reduce. Add vongole along with dry white wine. Cover with a lid ensuring to shake the pot occasionally to assist the vongole to open. After a few minutes the vongole should open, remove lid and stir in tomatoes coating the open vongole. Remove the garlic.
  4. By this stage your pasta should be cooked, drain and mix in with the vongole. Drizzle a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and remaining parsley and mix well. Serve immediately with some crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.

Serve with a glass of pinot gris


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