Italian Clams in Tomato Sauce

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Vongole Italiane in Salsa di Pomodoro (Italian Clams in Tomato Sauce) is a classic Italian seafood dish. Be sure and get good, fresh clams – they will make or break this dish that is exquisite when prepared properly. Once prepared, serve it over any of your favorite pastas, for a real culinary treat!

Italian Clams in Tomato Sauce

(Photo Attributed to Author: Popo le Chien)

Italian Clams in Tomato Sauce Recipe-

  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lbs. tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lb. tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • granulated white cane sugar
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 lbs. fresh, live steaming clams
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 cup good quality dry white wine (suggest a chardonnay)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • freshly cooked, still warm, pasta of your choice
  1. Using a colander placed over a bowl, store your fresh, live clams in the refrigerator, and cover them loosely with a moist cloth or paper towel.
  2. Bring 3 tbsp. of olive oil up to medium high hear in a saucepan. Add in the red pepper flakes and the garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Now add in the sugar (to taste) and the tomatoes, reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer for at least 45 minutes, a whole hour is even better.
  4. While the mixture is simmering, preheat your oven to 325 Fahrenheit.
  5. Take the French bread and slice in into 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick slices, and spread some olive oil on each slice. Toast in the oven for 9 to 12 minutes, or until nice and golden brown.
  6. Now take your clams out and scrub them clean. You only want the fresh live ones, and they should be closed shut. If any of them are open, give each of those a good rap with a metal soup spoon – they should close shut. If any of them don’t, throw them away.
  7. Take a large skillet that has a lid (preferably a glass lid, so you can see through it), put 3 tbsp. olive oil in in it, and bring the heat up to medium high. Toss in the diced onions, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until just fragrant and translucent. Do not brown them.
  8. Now add in 2 tbsp. of the thyme and chopped oregano, and cook for just another 30 seconds, then add the wine. Bring everything to a good boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.
  9. Now add in the clams and the quartered tomatoes. Place the lid on the skillet, bring the heat back up to high, and cook 6-8 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally, but not removing the lid. Check after 6 minutes, you just want to cook until the clams have opened.
  10. Remove from the heat once the clams have opened. Any clams that have not opened you should discard.
  11. Strain the cooking liquid into the tomato sauce, and discard the diced onion.
  12. Place a mound of pasta on each serving plate, then ladle the clams and plenty of the sauce over the pasta.
  13. Serve your Italian Clams in Tomato Sauce with pasta while nice and hot, garnished with thyme and chopped parsley.