Spaghetti Vongole

Recipe Bar Centrale, Images Brydie Thompson

A glass of Soave and spaghetti vongole on a beautiful summer’s day is a match made in heaven.


150–200g spaghetti

kosher salt

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, sliced

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup white wine

approx. 1kg cockles, tua tua or similar clams

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


Bring 3L of lightly salted water to boil in a 5L pot. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain and reserve ½ cup cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until a little golden. Add red pepper flakes and cook for 15 more seconds. Add wine and cockles; increase heat to high. Cover skillet and cook until cockles open and release their juices. This should be 3–6 minutes, depending on size of cockles. As they open, use tongs to transfer them to a bowl.

Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook over high heat, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce. Add cockles and any juices from the bowl along with the parsley, and toss. (You can add more pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining oil.

Bar Centrale
Located in the old Tauranga Post Office
51 Willow Street, Tauranga

Share This Post