Spaghetti alle Vongole

- Our Dinners - Pasta - Clams - Rhode Island - Lee's Recipes - Cynthia's Houston Brisket -

In September 1999, Jim and Cynthia came up from Texas. Fellow Rhode Islander Cynthia loves quahogs so Bruce and I cooked up the best Spaghetti alle Vongole made with fresh Rhode Island Little Necks.

1/4 cup olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
crushed dried red pepper
16-20 "Little Neck" quahogs in shell*, scrubbed
1/2 cup white wine
black pepper
1 lb. spaghetti or linguinez
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Add the olive oil to a hot pan and heat, then add the garlic and cook briefly until softening but not browned. Add red peppers and cook very briefly. Then add white wine and simmer to reduce while the pasta cooks. Add quahogs and reheat, but do not allow to boil or clams will be tough. Drain pasta and put in a wide serving dish. Add clam sauce and the parsley. Mix lightly. Season with black pepper and serve immediately. Parmesan cheese is generally not served with this dish.

Never overcook quahogs!

Eileen and Bruce make a perfect vongole sauce with Rhode Island quahogs. The secret is to reduce the sauce before adding the Little Necks, and cook just long enough for them to open so they are tender and delicious.

I buy my quahogs from Anthony's Seafood in Middletown, Rhode Island, the day I am going to cook them. Scrub quahogs with a stiff brush, under running water right before cooking. NEVER soak quahogs. Store quahogs in fridge in an open bag or dish. They need to breathe.

While waiting for the Spaghetti alle Vongole, Jim enjoyed Boston's own Sam Adams.


Above: Young Bruce's Spaghetti alle Vongole 2001

The sauce was done!

Bruce cut the bread, and served up the spagehetti.

What a great feast!

Spaghetti alle Vongole w/ fresh Rhode Island Little Necks
We did quite a bit of fun cooking in '99, including a share of lobsters and crab meat. Ate our fill of barbecue too. Quahogs and mussels are among our favorite dishes.


1999 updated July 18, 2007 to include recipe