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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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spaghetti with clams and white wine sauce on a plate with parsley and lemon wedges

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Posted by: Ari Laing

This classic Italian favorite is layered with flavor from thinly sliced garlic, white wine, a touch of red pepper flakes, and the freshest clams you can find! Spaghetti alle vongole tastes like the ocean and is a quick and easy lunch or dinner, perfect for your next date night in!

recipe +-

Posted by: Ari Laing
spaghetti with clams and white wine sauce on a plate with parsley and lemon wedges
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Spaghetti alle Vongole

A quick weeknight pasta with clams, garlic, and a simple white wine sauce. Spaghetti alle vongole is a weeknight summer staple that will have you dreaming of dining by the ocean!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: how long to cook clams, littleneck clams, pasta with clams, spaghetti alle vongole, weeknight clam pasta, white wine sauce
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • A skillet or deep pan with a lid


  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • cup dry white wine
  • 2 lbs Littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
  • 2-3 Tbsp parsley, chopped, plus more for serving
  • ½ lb (8 oz) spaghetti
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • grated parmesan for serving
  • freshly ground black pepper for serving


  • Begin by purging (or cleaning) the clams. Place clams in a large bowl of cold water and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Carefully lift out clams, then replace water and repeat once more, or until there is no sand and grit left on the bottom of the bowl. Set clams aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, but do not salt. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Use a measuring cup to reserve ½ cup cooking liquid, then drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. If the garlic begins to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium-low. 
    clams in a skillet with garlic, parsley, and white wine
  • With the heat on medium-low, add cleaned clams, red pepper flakes, chopped parsley, and white wine to the pan, then cover and cook until opened, 6 minutes. Discard any clams that are tightly sealed (see note below). Add drained pasta and butter to the skillet, then toss to combine. Pour in ¼ cup of reserved pasta water and toss again. If you want more of a sauce, add remaining ¼ cup of reserved cooking liquid. Otherwise, divide into 4 bowls then top with grated parmesan, additional parsley, and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
    cooked clams in a skillet with white wine sauce



  • Clams: cook time is for Littleneck clams. If you use Manilla or Cockles (both smaller than Littlenecks), you'll need to reduce the cook time by 1-2 minutes. The clams are fully cooked when the shells open!
  • Wine: cook with a wine that you wouldn't mind drinking, as the flavor intensifies through cooking. A dry white wine with crisp minerality and citrus tones (such as Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet) is perfect here. Additional wine recommendations are listed at end of blog post.
  • For serving: while serving clams in their shell makes for a beautiful presentation, it adds an extra step (removing clams) before eating. I like serving this as pictured, but if you'd prefer you can remove clams from all shells after cooking, then add the clam meat directly to pasta and toss before serving.

For more date night recipes, check out the following:

Crispy chicken thighs with white beans and kale
Creamy polenta with roasted mushrooms and blue cheese
Chicken milanese recipe with shaved fennel salad
Mozzarella caprese gazpacho
Panko roast rack of lamb with roasted grapes


Sodium: 215mg | Calcium: 28mg | Vitamin C: 3mg | Vitamin A: 425IU | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 167mg | Cholesterol: 18mg | Calories: 377kcal | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fat: 15g | Protein: 13g | Carbohydrates: 45g | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @wellseasonedstudio and hashtag it #wellseasonedstudio!