Food & Drink

Orecchiette with Clams

I love pasta with clams and especially when the pasta is bite size orecchiette (“little ears” in Italian), which is typical of the Apulia region of Italy. You could make this dish using homemade orecchiette or store bought – either one will work great.



12 oz. orecchiette pasta, preferably fresh

3 dozen Littleneck or Manila clams

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp minced shallot

1 Tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 tsp. dried

1/2 tsp. crushed red chili peppers

1 tsp. black pepper 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tsp. minced fresh oregano or 3/4 tsp. dried


  1. Cook the orecchiette in a large pot of boiling water until al dente (firm to the bite). Drain the pasta.
  2. Return the orecchiette to its cooking pot and toss with the olive oil, parsley, and oregano. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the clams, wine, shallot, garlic, thyme, and red chilies. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the clams open — about eight minutes.
  4. Add the cooked and drained orecchiette to the pot with the clams and stir to blend. Continue to cook over medium-high heat to allow the pasta to absorb some of the clam juices, about three more minutes. Sprinkle it with the black pepper.
  5. Serve immediately with discard bowls for the clam shells. 
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