Linguine alle Vongole

This recipe is by far our favorite version of the dish. We like to keep it as simple and pure as possible - no tomatoes, cream, or other ingredients - just the simply briny flavor of the clams, a little heat from chilis, and garlic.

  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • 48 Littleneck Clams (shells scrubbed to remove sand)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 0.5 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 0.33 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Pasta Cooking Water
  • 8 Small Dried Hot Chilis (or 1 teaspon of red pepper flakes)
  • 1 pound Dried Linguine
  • 0.25 cup Parsley
  • 6 ounce Prosciutto or Pancetta (thinly sliced)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  1. Cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of well-salted boiling water (should be salty like the ocean) until al dente (the pasta should still have a bit of bite to it)
  2. Drain in a colander, reserving ½ - 1 cup of the pasta water
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté pancetta, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes (you can skip this step, if desired)
  4. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds
  5. Stir in clams, wine, reserved pasta water, and chiles and boil, covered, until clams open, about 4 to 5 minutes (discard any clams that do not open after 6 minutes)
  6. If using whole chiles, remove with a slotted spoon and discard
  7. Add the pasta to the pan with the clams, toss with parsley, and drizzle with high quality extra virgin olive oil