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Pasta Alle Vongole - Overthinking Classics

Pasta Alle Vongole

This Pasta Alle Vongole features a tangle of linguine coated in a white wine garlic sauce studded with chili rings, ribbons of preserved lemon, and sweet and tender Manila clams.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Soaking Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2


  • Large pot
  • Large skillet


  • 454g (1 lb) Manila clams **
  • 250g (9oz) dried linguine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 shallots halved, sliced thin
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled, sliced thin
  • 2 pencil hot red chilis *** sliced thin
  • 1 preserved lemon **** flesh removed, rind sliced thin
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped fine
  • lemon wedges to garnish


  • First, check the viability of your clams. If any of your clams are open, give them a tap on the counter. If they close, they’re good to go. If they don’t, they’re already dead and should be discarded. 
    454g (1 lb) Manila clams **
  • Give the clams a good scrub with a hard bristle brush. Place the scrubbed clams in a bowl of cold salted water. Add roughly a tbsp of salt for every four cups of water. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This will encourage the clams to expel any sand they might still be carrying. Give them a final rinse before cooking. Set them aside.
    454g (1 lb) Manila clams **
  • Place a large pot of water over high heat. When the water reaches a rolling boil, liberally salt the water and add the linguine. Cook the pasta according to the package's direction. About 10 minutes. Make sure you give the noodles a toss every now and then to prevent them from sticking together. 
    250g (9oz) dried linguine
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shallots, garlic, chilis, and preserved lemon. Give them a sprinkling of salt and saute until just translucent.
    ¼ cup olive oil, 3 shallots, 8 cloves garlic, 2 pencil hot red chilis ***, 1 preserved lemon ****
  • Pour in the white wine and add the clams to the pan. Cover the skillet immediately and set the timer for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes have passed, remove the lid. All the clams should have opened. Discard any that didn’t. 
    ½ cup white wine, 454g (1 lb) Manila clams **
  • Your pasta should be finished by now. Scoop out about a 1/3 of a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet and along with a splash of the pasta water. Add the parsley and gently toss the pasta in the pan to ensure it is evenly coated. Once a glossy sauce forms in the bottom of the pan, take the pasta off of the heat immediately. 
    ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Plate the pasta and garnish with lemon wedges and additional fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
    lemon wedges


** Cherrystone or littleneck clams work as well.
*** If you don't have fresh chilis, sub in 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
**** If you don't have preserved lemon sub in half a lemon's worth of zest.
Keyword chili, clams, Garlic, lemon, linguine, Pasta, shallots, white wine