Spaghetti with Clams

This recipe came to me from an Italian girl I met 32 years ago.  My husband worked with her husband and we went to their house to adopt a German Shepherd pup. Invited to stay for lunch, I watched as my new friend quickly prepared this most delicious pasta.  It had been in her family for years and I having been cooking it exactly the same way for the past 32 years…

The quantities given here are for two greedy people…


I large handful of spaghetti or linguine

1 jar of baby Clams drained (I get these in a small glass jar from Thomas Dux Grocers)

1 tub of tomato paste

1 clove of garlic (grated)

1 finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek (or one fresh chilli)

2 teaspoons of chicken stock powder (I use Massel brand)

1 generous cup of water

1 good pinch of sugar

salt & pepper to taste

fresh parmesan cheese

Grated tasty cheese (optional)


Boil the spaghetti in plenty of salted water until al dente

While the spaghetti is cooking, fry the onions, garlic and chilli in olive oil under the onion is transparent

Add drained baby clams and stir in to the onion mixture

Sprinkle over the stock powder and stir again until combined

Add water and tomato paste and stir until smooth – it will be a little thin but will cook down as it simmers

Add in a good pinch of sugar

Season with salt & pepper to taste

When the spaghetti is almost ready, ladle out a little of the water into the sauce if it starts to look too thick.

When spaghetti is ready, drain and add the sauce and toss well to combine.

I often put a sprinkling of grated cheese in the bottom of the bowl before I put in the pasta – it goes all lovely and gooey – we call it Spaghetti Surprise!

Serve with parmesan cheese on top

Bon Appetit!


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