Spaghetti alle vongole with samphire

Spaghetti alle vongole or clams makes a classic Italian supper. The clams are cooked in dry white wine, which combined with the natural clam juice and samphire make a lovely rich sauce for the pasta.


olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1kg clams, well scrubbed
90g samphire
100ml dry white wine
150g spaghetti
25g butter, chilled
a large handful parsley, finely chopped


  1. Bring a large pan of salted boiling water to the boil. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a medium pan and fry the garlic gently until softened but not coloured. Increase the heat, add the clams and samphire, pour over the wine and cover tightly with a lid. Cook for just 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then until the clams open.
  2. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, lift the clams and samphire out into a bowl. Return the pan to the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
  3. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes or until only just tender, stirring occasionally, then drain. Remove half the clams from their shells, leaving the meat with the unshelled clams.
  4. Drop the butter into the reduced clam and wine juice and stir until it thickens. Return the clams and samphire to the liquid, then add the spaghetti and chopped parsley. Season with black pepper and toss.

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