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Mary Berry’s Spaghetti alle Vongole

Mary Berry's delicious recipe for spaghetti alle vongole, an Italian classic, is full of the fresh and summery flavours of parsley, lemon, garlic and of course clams. Ready in just 20 minutes, this is a fantastic dinner party dish.

From the book


A classic spaghetti dish with clams and a delicious white wine sauce. To purge the clams of sand before cooking, simply place them in a bowl of cold water and leave for 20 minutes. As the clams breathe they filter water so the sand is pushed out.

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275g (100oz) spaghetti
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large banana shallots, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
750g-1kg (1lb 10oz–2lb 4oz) small fresh clams, cleaned
175ml (6fl oz) white wine
Juice of ½ lemon
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over a high heat in a wide, deep pan with a lid. Add the shallots and chilli to the pan and fry for 2 minutes, stirring, then add the garlic and fry for 10 seconds. Tip in the clams and stir everything together.

Pour in the wine and bring to the boil for 2 minutes, then cover with the lid and boil for 2–3 minutes until all the clams have opened (discard any that don’t open).

Add the drained pasta to the clams, season well with salt and pepper and toss together. Stir through the lemon juice and parsley and drizzle over the remaining oil.

Serve the clams at once while piping hot, spooning over the cooking liquor at the end. Don’t forget to put out extra bowls for the discarded shells.


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From the book: Mary Berry’s Quick Cooking

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