Giada De Laurentiis’ Spaghetti With Clams Is ‘the Only Way to Make This Dish’

Put aside any notions you have of pasta, whether linguine or otherwise, with clams. Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis‘ impressive spin on the Italian classic is striking in its simplicity and ease of preparation.

Delicious and satisfying, this is an essential meal that is meant to be savored.

Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis appears in a black-and-white striped short-sleeved dress during an appearance on 'Watch What Happens Live.'
Giada De Laurentiis | Charles Sykes / Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

De Laurentiis’ spaghetti with clams is a spin on the classic Italian dish

In her cookbook Everyday Italian, the chef writes of this humble meal’s preparation.

“Spaghetti with clams is very different from spaghetti with clam sauce,” she writes. “The former is a dish with a light, fragrant dressing tossed with whole clams; in my opinion, it’s the only way to make this dish.”

Not only is the meal delicious, but it’s a showstopper when it’s time to serve.

“It’s also beautiful on the table; there’s something about the shells combined with pasta that just looks so satisfying. And satisfying it is,” the chef adds, noting that if clams aren’t your thing, “you could also use mussels, for a twist, or small New Zealand cockles, whose refined shape and delicate flavor make for a more elegant version.”

The chef’s pasta recipe is simple and easy

The Simply Giada host’s easy dish calls for dried spaghetti, extra-virgin olive oil, sliced shallots, finely chopped garlic, Manila clams scrubbed clean, chopped parsley, dry white wine, unsalted butter, and lemon zest.

In her cookbook, De Laurentiis notes that Manila clams are a great choice for cooking “because they are hard-shelled and have less grit inside—and they are easier to find in supermarkets.”

The shallots and garlic are sauteed in the “smoking” hot olive oil in a large pan “being careful not to burn the garlic.” The clams and wine are added, the pan covered, and it’s all simmered for about 10 minutes until “most of the clams have opened.”

The butter is whisked in along with the chopped parsley, allowing the sauce to thicken a bit. At this point, De Laurentiis says to drain the pasta and toss it right into the butter clam sauce. Serve immediately with the lemon zest and more chopped parsley.

Get the complete recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Another delicious clam and pasta dish from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis.
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Reviewers loved the chef’s ‘keeper’ of a recipe

Requiring very little prep work or clean-up, De Laurentiis’ spaghetti with clams is an absolute winner of a dish, as Food Network reviewers raved.

“This was a hit the first time I made it for the family. Even the semi-picky kids ate it! This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. Something simple and easy to do with clams and pasta,” one home cook wrote.

Another person added that this clam dish left behind only clean plates: “This is a great, easy recipe to make and it is delicious. I sauteed the shallots and garlic and let them sit for a while to really flavor the oil. When the family finally arrived, I just picked up from where I left off. Nothing was left but the THANK YOU.”