Skip to main content

Pasta alle Vongole (Steamed Clams)



  • 2 pounds of fresh Manila clams - rinsed and cleaned*

  • 1 cup of pancetta or bacon - diced

  • 3/4 tbsp of unsalted butter

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 3 - 4 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced

  • 1 small shallot - finely chopped

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 cup of dry white wine

  • 1/3 cup of parsley leaves - roughly chopped

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • pasta or crusty bread

*Inspect and clean clams thoroughly. To remove sand, soak live clams in cool water and they will spit sand out. Any open or cracked clams (before being cooked) should be thrown out.


Note: If you are having clams with pasta, put a well salted pot of water on the stove before starting the cooking process below. Bring water to a boil. Add pasta (cook as directed) and start the cooking process for the clams below. Pasta should be cooked al dente. If the pasta is done before the clams, drain and reserve a small amount of cooking water.

Heat large pan over medI’m - high heat. Add olive oil and bacon. Stir regularly and sear until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from heat and place on paper towel. Drain any excess fat, keeping amount you want to keep for flavour (usually 1 - 2 tbsp).

Return pan to burner and turn to medium heat (with kept fat), add a dollop of butter, garlic and shallots. Stirring often until soft (approx. 2 minutes).

Add white wine and turn heat back up to medium - high. Bring to a simmer. Add clams and another dollop of butter, stir and put lid on - steam for 5 - 7 minutes. Discard any clams that have not opened. Stir in parsley and bacon. Use lemon to garnish and/or squeeze over clams.

If you are having clams with bread - serve now. If you are having pasta, add pasta to pan and toss with clams and sauce. Add a small amount of reserved water if needed to loosen pasta. Check seasoning and add salt/pepper if needed.

Serves 2 -4