Linguine risottate con Vongole e Zucchine (Linguine with clams and zucchini cooked risotto style)


Well, that’s some title! Don’t be alarmed by the lengthy description though, this lip-smackingly luscious bowl of perfectly al dente linguine will be yours in no time at all. Your sauce with be ready by the time the water has come to the boil, your cue to drop the pasta in, cook it for 2-3 minutes, then transfer it straight to the pan containing that glorious clam and white wine nectar, to finish cooking in the style of a risotto. For those of you familiar with my recipes, this is hardly news fresh from the press. I have unveiled with you the joys of cooking pasta risotto style a few times already. But for those of you randomly stumbling upon Silvia’s Cucina, allow me to let you in on one of my favourite kitchen secret… forget about boiling, draining and then dressing the pasta with your sauce! When you do it “risotto-style”, the spaghetti cooks in your rich and velvety clam liquor, slowly absorbing all the flavors, while the starch released by the gentle and constant stirring motion creates a luscious sauce. Genius!



350 gr (3/4 packet) of  Linguine

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1  chopped chilie (or half, according to what heat intensity you can handle)

parsley (leaves and the tender bits of the stalks, chopped), about 1/3 cup

1 kg (2 lb) of Vongole

extra-virgin olive oil, about 4 tablespoons

dry white wine, about 1/3 cup

2-3 zucchini, cut into thin rounds


1. Fill a large pot of salted water and bring to a fierce boil.

2. Put a large frying pan on the stove with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Heat it up and drop in zucchini, chilly and parsley stalks and pan-fry for about 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a further minute, making sure it doesn’t turn brown. Add a good splash of white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly, keeping in mind that vongole will add their sapid kick to the dish.


3. Drop your clams in, cover with a lid. They will take about 2 to 3 minutes to open up and release their beautiful juices. Once opened, lift them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve all the pan juices in the pan for later.

4. When the water is boiling,  drop the pasta in and cook  for 2-3 minutes or until the noodles have softened. Using kitchen tongs, lift the linguine straight into the wine and vongole juices pan. Cover with enough pasta cooking water so that all the pasta is submerged with liquid. Stirring gently, continue cooking until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has been absorbed and you are left with thick, rich sauce. This will take 5-6 minutes, according to the size of noodles you use.


5. Turn the heat off, add the vongole along with the juices they have released whilst resting, top with chopped parley leaves and serve piping hot!



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18 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks amazing! My husband’s Spaghetti (not linguine) with Clams is about the closest to the Amalfi Coast that I have ever tasted, but the way you describe this “rich, thick sauce” makes me think you’re on to something. I can’t wait to give it a try! All your recipes are wonderful!

    1. Oh, you have just made me so happy with your comment!

  2. I love this technique – will make it this way next time. Very clever.

    1. Hi jovina! Let me know when you’ve tried it!

  3. elsonsequeira says:

    What a nice post Silvia!!! Loved the simplicity, and the textures

    1. Thank you!
      You know, simple food needs simplicity, don’t you reckon?

      1. elsonsequeira says:

        Absolutely… well and truly agree.

        One Request- Would be nice if you could post a Spaghetti Alio E Olio recipe 🙂

      2. I sure will…watch this space!

  4. A beautiful dish – I really need to get my hands on some delicious clams.

    1. Thanks! They just make me crave summer so much…

  5. Pamela Green says:

    Silvia this looks divine! I just had a similar dish at a restaurant and it didn’t look this fresh and pretty. I have never cooked with clams before but this makes me convinced I shouldn’t be scared to give them a go. Thank you!

    1. Hi Pam! You know, this is my ideal comfort food, ever my little boys love it. Give it a go and be sure to let me know!

  6. jdahlen5958 says:

    Hi Silvia,
    I have been cooking pasta for years using my mom and grandma’s recipes, yet I never saw them try this. I am scared the pasta will taste gluey and the sauce will not have enough clam flavor,but I am going to try it because I love the idea of it and I trust you. One question: what if you can only find already shucked clams? Would this work for shucked clams in clam broth from a fish store?

    1. Dear Jeannette,
      I would stay away from jarred clams….they would have lost all their natural flavour. Mussles make a great substitute.

  7. Miss PIRISI says:

    I’m at Versailles markets picking up ingredients for Sunday’s lunch. Thanx!

    1. Oh, I hope you liked it!

  8. than says:

    Very good blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..

    Any suggestions? Many thanks!

  9. marisa2014 says:

    I love this method. The pasta soaks up flavor as it cooks. Your blog fills me with so much inspiration. I can’t wait to make this!! Grazie per la ricetta!

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