Spicy Clams with Spaghetti

Photo: Linda Pugliese
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

Turn up the heat on spaghetti alle vongole with a generous dose of red-pepper flakes. Serve it on Valentine's Day, or better yet, make it a date -- and make it together.


  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 8 ounces spaghetti

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • 18 littleneck clams (about 1 ½ pounds), scrubbed

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon thinly sliced stems


  1. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Increase heat to medium-high and add clams. Cover and cook just until clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard unopened clams.

  3. Stir in butter and parsley leaves and stems. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is loose and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook's Notes

Clams are naturally salty, so taste the finished dish before seasoning with any additional salt.

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