Sartù di Vongole

Sautéed Clams


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

From Naples and Campania comes this simple and most delicious way to enjoy perfectly fresh clams. This style of cooking - superbly quick and easy, and using only a few top-quality, fresh ingredients - is absolutely typical of the cuisine of the area. The clams traditionally used for this classic dish are vongole veraci, known as carpet shell clams in English. They tend to be larger and juicier than the other varieties, but if you cannot get hold of them, any other clams are fine to use instead - just adjust the cooking time accordingly.


  • 1.5 kg/3 ¼ lb fresh clams, preferably carpet shell clams (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz/¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped, plus 1 clove, halved
  • 6 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • ½-1 dried red chilli, coarsely chopped
  • 150 ml/¼ pint/ cup dry white wine
  • 4-6 slices crusty bread
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Scrub the clams in several changes of fresh water until the water is completely clear. Drain and set aside. Discard any clams that do not close tightly when tapped against a work surface.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan that is large enough to take all the clams in one go, and add the chopped garlic, parsley and chilli. Fry for 3 minutes, then add the clams, wine and seasoning.

  3. Stir everything together thoroughly, then cover and leave to simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, for 6 minutes, or until the clams have opened up.

  4. Meanwhile, toast the bread and rub one side of each slice with the halved clove of garlic. Remove the pan from the heat and discard any clams that remain closed. Pour the hot clams and their juices over the toasted garlic bread and serve.