Spaghetti alle vongole

Recipe: The River Cafe’s Spaghetti Alle Vongole

Food & Drink /

Ruth Rogers is back with a brand-new cookbook

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The new cookbook from renowned restaurant The River Cafe aims to bring the traditions of Italy to a younger age group with a selection of simple, easy-to-follow recipes. Titled The River Cafe Look Book: Recipes for Kids of All Ages, it features 50 recipes from owner Ruth Rogers alongside executive chefs Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli. Here, we share one of the recipes: a classic spaghetti alle vongole.

Recipe: The River Cafe’s Spaghetti Alle Vongole


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 3 dried red chillies, crumbled 
  • 3kg (6lb 8 oz) small clams,  
  • washed thoroughly 
  • bunch of flat-leaf parsley,  
  • finely chopped (divided) 
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 400g (14 oz) spaghetti 
  • 1 lemon, quartered 

Serves 4 


  • Scale 
  • Measuring cups measuring spoons sharp knife 
  • Large frying pan wooden spoon large saucepan colander 


It is important to toss the spaghetti well with the clams and the juice so they flavour the pasta.

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.  
  2. Add the garlic and fry over a medium heat for 1 minute until just  beginning to brown.  
  3. Add the crumbled chillies, clams and 2 tablespoons of water. 
  4. Cover and fry over a high heat for about 5 minutes until all the clams  open. Discard any that do not open. 
  5. Add half the parsley to the clams.  
  6. Season with pepper and some salt if needed; the clams may be salty. 
  7. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.  
  8. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet (package)  instructions. The spaghetti should be cooked until firm but still with  a bite (al dente). 
  9. Drain the spaghetti and add to the clams.  
  10. Serve with the remaining parsley and the lemon quarters.

The River Cafe Look Book: Recipes for Kids of All Ages

Recipe extracted from The River Cafe Look Book: Recipes for Kids of All Ages, out 17 October 2022