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A close of Strozzapreti Pasta with Clams in a deep saucepan.

Strozzapreti Pasta with Clams in a Spicy Fresh Tomato Sauce


This Strozzapreti Pasta with Clams in a Spicy Fresh Tomato Sauce isn’t just a recipe; it’s a celebration of seafood at its finest! This recipe combines plump littleneck clams and pasta with the sun-kissed sweetness of cherry tomatoes, zesty garlic, and aromatic herbs.


  • 22 1/2 dozen littleneck or middleneck clams
  • 12-ounces Strozzapretti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • zest of one lemon, divided
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, divided


  1. Place the clams in a bowl of cold water with 1/2 tablespoon of flour or salt to purge an excess dirt for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Start boiling a pot of water for the pasta.
  3. While the clams are soaking, in a food processor, combine the tomatoes, shallot, garlic cloves, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, 1/2 lemon zest and fresh parsley.
  4. Pulse to create a fresh tomato sauce.
  5. Heat olive oil to medium in a deep saucepan.
  6. Once heated, add in the fresh tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  7. Add in the white wine. Turn up the heat to just under a boil.
  8. Once the pasta water is boiling, salt generously. Add the pasta.
  9. Drain and rinse the clams. Add them to the sauce.
  10. Cover. Allow to steam open.
  11. Add a ladle of the pasta water to the clams as they are steaming.
  12. If any of the clams do not open after 7-8 minutes, remove and discard.
  13. Cook the pasta just to al dente.
  14. Transfer the pasta directly from the pot to the tomato clam sauce.
  15. Add in a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley.
  16. Toss to coat in the sauce and cook for just a few more minutes.
  17. Plate individual servings garnished with fresh parsley, lemon zest. Optionally, sprinkle on a touch more crushed red pepper flakes.
  18. Serve immediately.
  19. ENJOY!


  • Look for fresh littleneck or middleneck clams that are tightly closed.
  • Soak the clams for at least 10 minutes with a touch of flour or salt to purge any excess debris or sand. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Salt the pasta water.
  • Cook the pasta just to al dente prior to adding to the sauce.
  • Feel free to substitute Strozzapreti pasta with your favorite shape pasta. 
  • Add a touch of pasta water to the clams as they are steaming. The starchy water will help enhance the flavor and bind the sauce.
  • As the clams are soaking, start on the sauce and boiling the water for the pasta. 
  • Discard any clams that do not open after steaming as unopened clams are likely dead and can pose a health risk to you if consumed.
  • Garnish each dish with fresh parsley and lemon zest to add freshness to the finished dish.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Seafood Pasta
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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