Spaghetti alle Vongole al Pomodoro (Clams and Tomatoes)

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 pounds of clams, scrubbed well (or 115 ounce can whole baby clams)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 126 ounce can Italian tomatoes (chopped or diced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

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  1. If using live clams, remove any clams that are broken, or which do not close immediately if tapped. (I prefer smaller clams if you can find them, but not the tiny ones.) Place in a large skillet and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells open (discarding any clam with a shell that does not open).
  2. In another large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the garlic until golden. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the clams from the skillet with a slotted spoon and remove them from their shells. Place the clams into the skillet with the tomatoes.
  5. Add some of the remaining liquid from the clams. (If using canned clams, add the entire contents to the tomato sauce.) Cook together for a few more minutes until slightly reduced.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until al dente (2 minutes less than package recommends). Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the clams.
  7. Serve immediately, evenly distributing the clams.
  8. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper for a little kick.

Ed's Review

I'll tell you where the boogeyman lives: Inside your fridge. Not mine, but yours. Nothing personal, but refrigerators gross me out.  I don't want to peek inside. I'm not interested in seeing or smelling what's inside.  It's your private space for expired foods, old mayo, and prunes.  Please, lock me out.

Luckily, this week's Sunday Pasta doesn't involve a refrigerator. Even if you use fresh clams, you need to buy them the day of. Alternatively, canned clams will do; ditto canned tomatoes. Throw in a little dry spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and voila! No fridge and delicious!

Trust me, I won't look inside, but for the love of God, please clean your refrigerator!

Buon Appetito!

Edwin Garrubbo

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