Rating: 5 stars
2 Ratings
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Spaghetti is cooked like a risotto in fresh clam sauce for a flavor-packed dish. A few simple ingredients can create this delicious pasta dish that will wow you. The spaghetti take in the juices of the clams using minimal water. This is one of my family's favorite pasta dishes.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
25 mins
45 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil in a stockpot; add salt. Reduce heat to a simmer.

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, followed by chile pepper and garlic. Cook and stir gently until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove garlic and chile pepper; discard. Add clams to the fragrant oil.

  • Pour wine over the clams and cover immediately. Let simmer until clams have opened, about 7 minutes. Remove clams using a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Cover to avoid losing their steam. Discard any unopened clams.

  • Pour four ladles of salted water into the skillet with the juice of the clams. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add spaghetti; move around with a pasta fork to keep from sticking together. Cook, adding a ladle or two of salted water as needed to keep spaghetti barely covered, until pasta is tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Add clams and sprinkle in lemon zest. Give the skillet a hefty toss to gently mix the clams in the thickened sauce.

  • Divide into four pasta bowls. Cover with parsley and serve immediately with empty plates on the side for the shells while eating.

Cook's Notes:

The skillet used must be large enough to hold all the spaghetti even when being stirred.

The idea is like a risotto where there is just enough water to cook but not drown out the flavor by allowing the starch in the pasta to create a thick sauce. Simply add ladles of water when necessary to keep the spaghetti cooking while creating a concentrated flavored sauce. You may not need all the water.

Nutrition Facts

422 calories; protein 12.3g; carbohydrates 65.4g; fat 8.2g; cholesterol 2.5mg; sodium 1774.6mg. Full Nutrition