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Easy Japanese Recipes

Clam Pasta あさりのパスタ

Clam Pasta | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Clam Pasta or Spaghetti alle Vongole (ボンゴレスパゲッティ , ボンゴレビアンコ) is one of the most popular Italian pasta in Japan along with Spaghetti Bolognaise (Spaghetti Meat Sauce), Carbonala, Aglio olio e peperoncino (Japanese call it “Peperoncino”), and Spagehtti Neapolitan (I shared the recipe in this post).

You may wonder why I’m sharing Italian recipes (because I share mainly Japanese recipes here on my blog).  The reason is Italian cuisine is wildly popular in Japan, especially pasta!  I’ve received email and comments from several Italian readers about how amazing Italian restaurants are in Japan that they’ve tried.  They’ve commented to me saying Japan has some of the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy (of course there are not so great ones too, but that’s everywhere, I guess).

Clam Pasta | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Not only do the Japanese enjoy pasta at Italian restaurants, but we also cook at home.  Clam Pasta, or Spaghetti Alle Vongole, is an especially easy one.  The meal is ready in less than half an hour.  I have been pre-occupied lately with some food projects that I’m working on before leaving for Japan at the end of this month.  Not having enough time to cook multi-dish meals, this quick and easy pasta recipe often comes in handy and saves our family dinner.

Clam Pasta | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Now my husband Shen would like to review the wine that we paired with this pasta for dinner.  Here’s what he wants to say.

To match with clam pasta’s spicy kick from red chili pepper, we’ve paired it with Pfendler Chardonnay.  Honestly, it’s a small miracle that I was actually able to write my thoughts on this wine as I almost finished the the entire bottle without even realizing it.  The Pfendler 2011 Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.  I would describe its character similar to sweet nectar, almost like a dessert wine. 

As you first sip this wine, there is a burst of buttery peach flavor slowly coating your tongue.  Slowly as the wine passes your mouth, more flavors come to light, exposing a bit of spice, the feeling a pear dancing your palate, and finishing note is creamy and rich.  The wine leaves your mouth very clean and leaving behind a hint fruity note.  It makes you want to take one more sip as your mind tries to figure out exactly what flavors you’ve been tasting.  I highly recommend this wine if you enjoy complex chardonnay with a beautiful finish.  

Lastly, as a note Chardonnay should never be served too cold.  You want to be able to taste great white wine and not drink “cold wine” which mask the flavors. 

Please note: We received no compensation for this review. We received Pfendler Chardonnay from Jarvis Communications free of charge to use in exchange for an honest review.

Clam Pasta | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Clam Pasta Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 2
  • 1 lb (450-500g) fresh manila clams (They need to be de-gritted.)
  • ½ lb (227g) spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  1. De-grit clams (here’s how to do it).
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together. Cook until al dente. Drain pasta into a colander.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it’s hot, add garlic and red chili pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Add the clams and wine and increase the heat to medium. Quickly cover and steam for 5 minutes or until all the clams have opened.
  5. Discard the clams that didn’t open and add 1 Tbps. parsley and season with pepper. Transfer the clams to a plate.
  6. Taste the sauce and season with pepper and salt (clams are already salty so you probably don't need to add too much salt).
  7. Add the pasta and toss until pasta is coated with the sauce.
  8. Remove from the heat and place pasta on a serving plate and put clams on top. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve immediately.
Prep time does not include de-grit time.
Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Easy Dinner Ideas, Healthy Recipes, Noodles & Pasta, One Dish Meals, Quick & Easy, Seafood

Leave a Comment

4 + = eleven

  • PolaM June 5, 2013, 11:30 am

    Cooked like a true Italian ;)

  • Rosa June 5, 2013, 11:50 am

    That looks delicious! Lovely clicks by the way.



  • Kate@Diethood June 5, 2013, 12:31 pm

    I love quick dishes, Nami! We all need them! :) And this looks like the ultimate summer time meal. Beautiful!!!

  • wok with ray June 5, 2013, 12:48 pm

    So simple yet very delicious. This is my kind of seafood dish. That is such a beautiful shot of the plating, Nami. :)

  • Julie @ This Gal Cooks June 5, 2013, 12:59 pm

    You know, I’m not a fan of clams but they way you presented this dish really makes me want to reach right over, grab a fork and have a few bites. Now that’s great photography. :)

  • A_Boleyn June 5, 2013, 1:14 pm

    I love clams and this dish … either with or without tomatoes. One day I hope to make it with live clams in the shell like yours but so far, I’ve only done it with the canned ones. :(

  • Monica June 5, 2013, 1:34 pm

    This is one of our favorite pasta dishes; I’m happy to see we cook it almost the exact same way – I use red pepper flakes instead for a shortcut. : ) I remember being amazed by how truly delicious Italian food and, particularly, pasta is in Japan. It made a big impression on us.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today June 5, 2013, 1:41 pm

    I made something very very similar last weekend. It’s so exciting, I kind of feel like we were eating together, hahaha.

  • john@kitchenriffs June 5, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Clam pasta is totally good stuff! And your version looks superb. Great sounding wine pairing, too. Thanks to both of you!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal) June 5, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Looks delicious…one of my favorites and so fast to prepare.

  • Sandra L. Garth June 5, 2013, 2:32 pm

    We love quick pasta meals but don’t have them often. I’m also going to be on the lookout for this wine.

  • sippitysup June 5, 2013, 2:39 pm

    I make clam pasta a lot. It’s simple and simply perfect. GREG

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe June 5, 2013, 2:54 pm

    When my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Japan, we were amazed by how many Italian restaurants we saw. I had no idea Italian food was so popular there until then. This looks really delicious, must try!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking June 5, 2013, 4:10 pm

    This is just stunning dish, Nami! I know my boys would be all over it…perfect summer recipe! Also great wine review… wishing you both wonderful day!

  • Belinda @zomppa June 5, 2013, 4:40 pm

    I didn’t realize that about Italian food there! Wish this was my dinner!

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) June 5, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Oh yeah, that’s gorgeous!

  • sonia June 5, 2013, 5:02 pm

    This is surely a delightful recipe, Nami !
    Loved ur picture of boiling noodles, looking artistic !
    Have a great day !
    Regards, Sonia

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 5, 2013, 5:15 pm

    I love spaghetti alle vongole! You and Liren are on the same wavelength with your posts today :).

  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You June 5, 2013, 6:28 pm

    Such beautiful photos and mouth-watering pasta, Nami! This chardonnay seems to pair very well with the pasta and clams. A mangiare!!!!!

  • Daniela June 5, 2013, 6:31 pm

    Mmh, during the time we lived in Italy this was my favorite dish at a little trattoria in the center of Rome. But homemade it’s even so much better.
    This pasta is at my to do list for this weekend :)
    Nami, as usual the pictures are superb.

  • Kitchen Belleicious June 5, 2013, 6:39 pm

    Clam, pasta, its the perfect compilation of seafood and pasta. I love cooking with clams and i think- no I know- I would really enjoy this simple but delicious sauce

  • Hotly Spiced June 5, 2013, 7:59 pm

    What a beautiful looking spaghetti. That’s a wonderful looking pasta that would be a delicious family meal. Photographing pasta isn’t easy and you’ve managed wonderful images xx

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 5, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Never knew Japanese love indulging in Italian cuisine. So fun! This looks like something I want to try soon. Have never ventured into clams before.

    Thanks to Shen for his thorough review on wine. A great wealth of info!

  • Eha June 5, 2013, 9:27 pm

    Uhuh! Am glad I am not the only one who has difficulty in accessing fresh seafood and have to admit I too have had to go ‘third-class’ and use tinned clams! Thank God now I can go second-class as frozen on shell has at last arrived in our local supermarket [yes, well!!]. But I have made the same recipe with other seafood I have been brought and it is a simple but formidably tasty dish!!!

    • Nami June 6, 2013, 10:52 pm

      Thanks Eha for your kind comment. I wish I can cook this clam pasta for you! :)

  • Jayne June 5, 2013, 11:29 pm

    Nami, I really really really love clams with pasta. In fact clams on it’s own, sauteed with a little garlic, dried chilli, ginger, lemongrass, mirin and salt makes me the happiest human on earth. We just had it that way 2 night ago. Would have been incredible with pasta. There’s this Japanese Italian food place near my house and they do really do good pastas.

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen June 5, 2013, 11:49 pm

    Wooooo! Italian cuisine for Nami… Pasta con le vongole is my favorite dish, and try it with linguine instead of spaghetti, even better (if it’s possible)


  • Raymund June 5, 2013, 11:57 pm

    I know this would taste really good and rich, I do them all the time.
    Love this recipe

  • Mich Piece of Cake June 6, 2013, 12:02 am

    What a flavourful pasta dish with the clams and white wine!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 6, 2013, 2:18 am

    Japanese food – check
    American food – check
    Italian food – check
    Amusing husband reviewing wine – check

    what cuisine is next? :)

    This is such a pretty dish.

  • Orchidea June 6, 2013, 2:23 am

    Spaghetti alle Congolese in white (no tomato sauce, there is a red version) is my absolute favorite dish and when I am in Italy I always ask my parents to prepare it… It is so good! The recipe and procedure you wrote is perfect, exactly as we prepare this dish in Italy… nice to know you like Italian food in Japan. Unfortunately in Sweden is very difficult to find vongole and if you find them they are not so fresh and usually very expensive, hat is why I do not make this pasta dish so often but wait to go to Italy to eat it.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 6, 2013, 2:42 am

    You’re so right Nami! The first time I tried spaghetti alla vongole was in Japan! It’s everywhere there and I love it :D

  • Katerina June 6, 2013, 2:46 am

    This is my father’s favorite pasta dish and he always orders it when visiting our neighborhood country. Beautifully made pasta Nami!

  • Lail | With A Spin June 6, 2013, 4:05 am

    I always told everyone that I had the best Italian food in Japan (before the trip to Italy). The pasta looks scrumptious. Great photos, Nami.

  • Laura @ Family Spice June 6, 2013, 7:35 am

    I haven’t had pasta in such a long time!!! I’m avoiding it, of course, but clams and pasta are one of my favorite pasta dishes. Drool-worthy, Nami!!!

  • nusrat2010 June 6, 2013, 8:00 am

    Oh my! I find everything about clam-pasta post is SEXY. Hands-down SEXY :)
    Thanks for the recipe. I’m tremendously inspired to try it on coming Saturday night.

  • Muna Kenny June 6, 2013, 8:56 am

    This looks fancy and delicious! I love Japanese food and although their food tastes different than Italians but knowing that both countries are famous for good food it’s only natural for them to appreciate and enjoy each others dishes.

  • Sissi June 6, 2013, 9:44 am

    It looks like pasta alle vongole indeed! Clams are such ugly – though delicious – creatures… I don’t know how you have managed to make them look so beautiful and so appetising (even though I like them, I thought the aesthetics is not their strong side). The Japanese seem to have a huge passion for Italian cuisine so I can well believe Japanese restaurants are great. I don’t think I will ever have a chance to taste Italian cuisine in Japan, maybe if I live there one day ;-) I crave so much Japanese delightful dishes that I couldn’t think of any other cuisine there.

  • Samah @ Good Cooks June 6, 2013, 10:01 am

    I alway go for the quick italian recipes especially the psta dishes when no time have in hands, they also fit for summer times when kids are arround and no time to cook. Such a pretty dish as always, thank you Nami.

  • Liz June 6, 2013, 10:16 am

    I seem to need the quick and easy recipes every single day! Thanks for sharing your wonderful version of this classic…so beautiful, my friend!

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz June 6, 2013, 10:51 am

    Well that was news to me that Italian was so popular in Japan, but after all there are Italian restaurants everywhere in the world I guess. I do enjoy this dish and your looks beautiful, especially with the shell in the dish. The wine sounds lovely.

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker June 6, 2013, 11:18 am

    I absolutely LOVE clams and this pasta dish looks divine! You captured this dish so beautifully that I just want to reach in and eat some of those clams. YUM!

  • Julia | JuliasAlbum.com June 6, 2013, 12:33 pm

    Clams, clams, clams – I love you so! Especially when they are prepared like on these photos! Pinned!

  • Mr. & Mrs. P June 6, 2013, 1:34 pm

    we love pasta with simple and light sauces!! This looks divine!!! Need to make this soon!

  • yummychunklet June 6, 2013, 2:17 pm

    This is my sister’s favorite! Can’t wait to make it for her.

  • Gourmet Getaways June 6, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Oh WOW!! What a mouthwatering image!!!
    I love everything about this post, the pic, the mussels and the recipe, although I have never cooked mussels before, I will have to try!

  • Jeanette June 6, 2013, 6:50 pm

    So funny, I would never think of Italian food as being popular in Japan, but this is one of my husband’s favorite dishes and we’re of Chinese heritage. I think it might be the natural umami in clams.

  • Jeannie June 6, 2013, 9:37 pm

    Oh yes, this pasta looks so fresh …I would love it very much, not so into the creamy type:)

    • Nami June 6, 2013, 10:25 pm

      Thanks Jeannie! :)

  • donna mikasa June 7, 2013, 12:59 am

    Oh, this looks so good! I feel that it will be a family fave–especially if it can be made in under half an hour! Thank your husband for the great wine review, too!

    • Nami June 12, 2013, 11:11 pm

      You’re welcome! Thank you for your support and kind comments all the time! xo

  • Ramona June 7, 2013, 3:06 am

    I never knew Italian food was so popular in Japan… that’s very cool. This looks like a fantastic dish and the wine sounds yummy. I am immediately attracted to the peach flavor …. Mmmmm!!

    PS.. I actually made a Japanese curry recently thanks to you. I am going to post it on my blog soon. :)

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover June 7, 2013, 3:48 am

    I also like to cook pasta with clams, usually I like Thai style with a lot of basil leaves..Your version also sound yummy too.

  • Nuts about food June 7, 2013, 3:57 am

    I love spaghetti alle vongole and live in Italy but had no idea it was so popular in Japan!

  • Jean June 7, 2013, 7:50 am

    You and Liren were on the same wavelength and posted one of my favorite pasta dishes. If I ever get a chance to visit Japan I’ll be sure to try a recommended Italian restaurant. I have no doubt that I’ll be wowed.

    Your bowl of spaghetti alle vongole looks so inviting and comforting–now I’ll have to whip up a batch (and find that wine!).

    Have a great weekend! (and love the colored board!)

  • easyfoodsmith June 7, 2013, 8:44 am

    Have never tried clams and I am quite intrigued. The recipe sounds delicious. May be I will try it with prawns…perhaps.

  • tanja@tanjascookingcorner June 7, 2013, 10:09 am

    Clam pasta reminds me of holidays :-) I am a big fan of Italian pasta, and your presentation is fantastic! I am hungry now :-)

  • Tiffany June 7, 2013, 10:24 am

    What an elegant dinner! Make me think of my time in New England! :D

  • Dani June 7, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Delicious looking as always! I’ve never tried clams with pasta, but it looks so simple, I might just have to give it a try!

  • Reese June 7, 2013, 3:32 pm

    A fantastic pasta dish for a busy week, Nami. I’ve been cooking mine with sun dried tomatoes, so it’s time to indulge in some seafood fare. The Italians are right:) The Italian restaurants/ cafes in Japan are definitely one of the things to explore in Japan. I remember the coffee and pastries are incredible too! Hope you have a nice weekend ahead

  • Holly | Beyond Kimchee June 7, 2013, 3:35 pm

    I love clam pasta and make them whenever I get hold of the fresh clams. Splashing a good quality of wine is a must. Thanks for your lovely recipe and the picture. It is 7am here and I wouldn’t mind to have this bowl of pasta for a breakfast if I could.

  • Veronica Cervera June 7, 2013, 7:47 pm

    One of my favorites ways to eat pasta.
    Beautiful pictures.
    Have a nice weekend, Nami.

  • nipponnin June 7, 2013, 11:08 pm


    • Nami June 9, 2013, 1:47 am


  • The Ninja Baker June 8, 2013, 12:06 am


  • Bam's Kitchen June 8, 2013, 3:30 am

    Konnichi wa Nami-san. Great little Italiano dish with superb Japanese plating and attention to detail… and thanks to the hubby for an awesome wine pairing and all under 30minutes. I am loving that…Ja mata, BAM

  • Rhonda June 8, 2013, 9:42 am

    I had no idea that Italian food is so popular in Japan, once again I learn something from your blog :) This clam dish looks great, clams and mussels are one of my favorites.

  • Dedy@Dentist Chef June 8, 2013, 2:03 pm

    I like it even more with a lil bit of heavy cream and dropped some mascarpone(my personal touch)

  • Lyndsey@TinySkillet June 8, 2013, 4:27 pm

    Yum! I love clams and pasta, and your photos are just stunning Nami!

    It’s been since January and after what happened to my parents since I have been on the computer much and haven’t been blogging. I thought I should try to come back and I will still include them in many post like I always have. All the while I did enjoy checking in once in awhile to see what you’ve been up to, thanks for that! :)

  • Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings June 8, 2013, 8:38 pm

    This is exactly how I make my clam pasta! There is no other better way, and it’s always been a reliable way to cook a quick week night meal! I love this dish and it’s one of my favourite in the whole wide world! Reminds me of being on a beach in Italy!

  • Stephanie June 8, 2013, 9:41 pm

    Oh, I love clams!!! If I see a dish with clams in it, I will most likely order it. This looks great!

  • Baltic Maid June 8, 2013, 10:17 pm

    This is one incredibly beautiful dish! And so easy to make. I love it!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious June 8, 2013, 10:52 pm

    I absolutely LOVE clams! I’ve never actually made it at home but I think that’s about to change VERY soon!

  • Jenny June 9, 2013, 2:18 am

    Yum, yum and yum!!

    • Nami June 9, 2013, 8:41 pm

      Thanks Jenny! Hope all is well with you! :)

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce June 9, 2013, 5:46 am

    I think that pasta is very common around the world, and also one of the favorite dish for everybody.
    Pasta with seafood could be the best, for me is…!!!

  • Asmita June 9, 2013, 2:02 pm

    This is such an easy and comforting dish you have shared. Thanks so much. I have to make this . My daughter loves clams.

  • Patty June 9, 2013, 5:24 pm

    I think Italian food is loved and enjoyed all over the world! You’ve outdone yourself with this beautiful plate of clams in pasta, I have to say this is one of my favorites that I order in an Italian restaurant when I see it on the menu :-)

  • ChopinandMysaucepan June 9, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Dear Nami,

    I love cooking vongole for lunch in the summer weekends and I find a few slithers of anchovies in its EVOO adds some depth and complexity of flavours too. And I think an oaky, buttery chardy is a great pairing too.

  • TheKitchenLioness June 10, 2013, 3:34 am

    Nami, fabulous photography, makes me feel like I am at a seaside resort having one unforgettable lunch! I love shaghetti alle vongole and always think that we should definitely eat it more often! Simply delicious, Nami!

  • Juliana June 10, 2013, 8:57 pm

    Looks delicious this clam pasta…and yes a touch of red pepper sounds great.

  • Candice June 11, 2013, 7:53 am

    Mmmm…I love clams! This is a dish I frequently order when visiting Italian restaurants. It looks delicious and perfectly executed, Nami! Your family is so lucky to have a great chef in the house. =)

    • Nami June 11, 2013, 9:30 pm

      Hi Candice! Thanks for your sweet words. I am hoping that I teach now and they will cook for me one day. :D Heh heh heh. Clam pasta is a easiest pasta! Hope you will try it at home! :)

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 13, 2013, 11:52 pm

    Hi Nami please don’t apologise for not visitng my blog for a while because I too have been busy and haven’t visited for a while :) Good to see you sharing a warm and comforting pasta dish! It’s super cold in Melbourne right now so I’d love to dig into a bowl of this clam pasta! :) Hope you’ve been well! xox

  • Pete June 15, 2013, 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe! I substituted 1 tbsp of grass fed butter for 1 tbsp of the olive oil and it came out absolutely perfect. My daughter couldn’t get enough.


    • Nami June 16, 2013, 10:37 am

      Hi Pete! Thank you for trying this recipe! I sometimes drop butter at the end, it makes it a little more creamy and ohhh so delicious! :) Thank you for writing your feedback and glad to hear your daughter enjoyed it. You made my day! Happy Father’s Day to you!

  • Lucy Handler July 9, 2013, 4:22 am

    Yes, its true talian cuisine is wildly popular in Japan. I am sharing 13 Quick Pasta Dishes This is a kind of food that would surely make you feel heaven after gobbling on a plate of it. Here are quick pasta recipes that won’t let you wait long for dinner.