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Spaghetti With Clams and Sun Gold Tomatoes



Spaghetti With Clams and Sun Gold Tomatoes in a flower shaped bowl
Photograph by Isa Zapata, food styling by Kendra Vaculin, prop styling by Emma Ringness

Spaghetti alle vongole signals summer to me in a way that no other pasta dish can. Instantly, I'm transported to a golden hour vista where I'm enjoying the pasta alfresco in a sundress, with a crisp white or the last of a spritz within arm's reach. Here I conjure the quintessential warm-weather pasta with its briny clams and garlicky broth and throw in juicy Sun Gold tomatoes to add the perfect pop of sweet acidity. Give yourself enough time so that the clams get a good soak to rid them of any sand; swish some salt in a bowl full of water until dissolved and let the clams hang out for about 15 minutes. If the bottom of the bowl is full of grit, repeat the process; otherwise, carefully lift the clams from the saltwater (being careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom) and place them in a colander until ready to use. Don’t be shy with the torn basil—it makes the dish taste like summer in a bowl.

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What you’ll need

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    25 minutes (plus clam soaking time)

  • Yield

    4 servings


Kosher salt
3 lb. small clams, preferably littleneck (about 30), scrubbed
12 oz. spaghetti
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. white or yellow miso
12 oz. Sun Gold tomatoes, halved, divided
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup torn basil, plus more for serving


  1. Step 1

    Partially fill a large bowl with cool water, add a handful of kosher salt, and swish with your hand to dissolve. Add 3 lb. small clams, preferably littleneck (about 30), scrubbed; let sit 15 minutes to expel any grit. Carefully drain and rinse. Repeat with a fresh bowl of cool water and salt. Set aside.

    Step 2

    Cook 12 oz. spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute short of al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Set pasta aside.

    Step 3

    Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium. Cook 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1 cup dry white wine, add reserved clams, and increase heat to medium-high. Cover and cook, until clams are open, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer opened clams to a clean large bowl. Leave unopened clams in pot, re-cover, and continue to cook, checking every 2 minutes to remove any open clams; discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.

    Step 4

    Reduce heat to medium and stir in 2 Tbsp. white or yellow miso to dissolve. Add 6 oz. Sun Gold tomatoes, halved; cook, pressing occasionally with spoon to help break open, until some of the tomatoes burst and release their juices, about 4 minutes.

    Step 5

    Add 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, remaining 6 oz. Sun Gold tomatoes, halved, and reserved pasta and cook, tossing and adding reserved pasta cooking liquid ¼-cupful at a time if needed, until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce (it will thicken as it sits). Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add clams along with any juices and ½ cup torn basil and gently toss to combine.

    Step 6

    Divide pasta and clams among bowls. Drizzle with oil and top with more basil.

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  • Delicious! Hubby doesn’t like clams, so I affect shrimp with the last addition of pasta. Also added some pesto that was nearing its end. A lot of steps, but worth it!

    • Atlantalinda

    • Atlanta

    • 5/29/2024

  • Fabulous recipe! Very easy and delicious. I replaced the white wine with white with vinegar and it was great.

    • Anonymous

    • Providence, RI

    • 5/31/2024

  • Perfect!

    • Anonymous

    • 6/7/2024

  • This was great! Basically halved the recipe. Subbed shrimp stock for most of the wine. For 1/2 recipe, next time I will use a full recipe of tomatoes.

    • Jo

    • Cocoa Beach, FL

    • 6/12/2024

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