November 2, 2020

Clam Spaghetti

Recipe: David Hawksworth

Try this Clam Spaghetti recipe from the new cookbook, Hawksworth.

For this Nightingale dish, we always use fresh spaghetti and B.C. Manila clams poached in fragrant clam stock. And we use fresh jalapeño, not chili flakes, because I like the way the heat hits you farther back in the throat. We finish it with lots of lemon juice and butter, and keep it loose. Spaghetti, clams, white wine and clam nectar all go so incredibly well together. No other dish has stayed on the menu as long as this one.

Note: Making fresh pasta is easy and fun, but if you don’t want to, buy the best-quality dried pasta available; we like Rustichella d’Abruzzo.


Clam Stock

  • Olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 500 mL (2 cups) white wine
  • 30 mL (2 Tbsp) canola oil
  • 1 small can (295 mL/10 oz.) clam juice
  • 3 bay leaves

Clam Spaghetti

  • 1 recipe Pasta Dough (page 311) or 400 g (14 oz.) good-quality dry spaghetti
  • 50 mL (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. (about 30) Manila or littleneck clams (see Note on page 112)
  • 100 g (1⁄2 cup) butter
  • Pinch dried red chili flakes
  • 1⁄4 bunch parsley, chiffonade
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1⁄2 small jalapeño, halved and finely diced
  • Salt


Yield: Serves 6

Clam Stock

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sweat the fennel, onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened, 8 to 12 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce the liquid by half. Add the clam juice and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the solids. Set aside the stock.

Clam Spaghetti

  1. Using the spaghetti attachment on your pasta machine, a spaghetti roller or a very sharp knife, cut the fresh pasta sheets into long thin strips of spaghetti.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rapid boil. Cook the fresh pasta until al dente, about 3 minutes. For dry pasta, cook according to package instructions.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add the garlic and sweat for 1 minute. Add the clams and some of the clam stock (you may not require all of it, depending how saucy you like your pasta), and cover immediately. Keep covered until the clams are fully open, 3 to 4 minutes; discard any that remain closed. Add the cooked spaghetti, butter and chili flakes and cook for a few more minutes. Adjust with more clam stock if needed. Add the parsley, lemon juice, scallions and jalapeño and toss well to combine. Season with salt as needed and serve.

Excerpted from Hawksworth by David Hawksworth, Jacob Richler and Stéphanie Nöel. Copyright © 2020 David Hawksworth. Photography by Clinton Hussey. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.