45 minutes prep, 90 minutes total


'Nduja Sofrito

  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, halved 
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled & thinly sliced
  • Bay Leaves
  • 6 oz. 'Nduja Sausage
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Paprika, smoked 
  • Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar 

    Littleneck Clams

    • 18-36 Clams 
    • 2 tbsp Butter, unsalted
    • 2 Shallots, thinly sliced 
    • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled & thinly sliced 
    • Thyme, 4 sprigs
    • 1 cup Fire Roasted Tomatoes, canned, diced & drained
    • 2 cups White Wine, dry Chardonnay is best 



    • 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs 
    • 1 stick Butter, unsalted
    • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


    Final Touches

    • 1 lb Spaghetti Chitarra, any spaghetti will do
    • 1 stick Butter, unsalted
    • 1/4 cup Parsley, minced
    • 1/4 cup Mint, torn
    • 1 Lemon, juiced
    • 1 Lemon, for zest


    Cooking Instructions


    1. Heat a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat – add the onions, bay leaf and olive oil. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring often until onions reach a light golden color.
    2. Add the garlic & smoked paprika – cook for additional 45 seconds – season to taste with salt and sugar.
    3. Add the ‘Nduja, stir to break up the sausage and render its fat for and additional 10-15 minutes.
    4. Taste – adjust seasoning if needed – transfer to tall narrow vessel – allow to settle and skim off 3⁄4 of the rendered fat & reserve for cooking the clams. *Reserve sofrito until ready to assemble pasta
    *TIP: making this sofrito a day or so ahead and refrigerating until ready to make your pasta is a great way to alleviate day of cooking-chaos!
    1. Heat a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat – add olive oil & butter. Once the butter has melted – stir in the bread crumbs.
    2. Continue to stir until the breadcrumbs have evenly toasted to a nice rich brown color.
    3. Turn breadcrumbs onto a plate lined with a few paper towels to drain excess oil - season lightly with salt.
    4. Reserve breadcrumbs at room temperature in air-tight container lined with paper towels until ready to serve.
    1. Heat a large sized sauté pan over medium-high heat – add reserved sofrito oil & butter. Once the butter has melted – add the washed clams, shallots, garlic, thyme, diced tomatoes – stir for 30 seconds add the white wine and cover with lid immediately.
    2. It should take about 2-3 minutes for the clams to open – once they are open turn the heat off and remove each clam from the liquid to a plate and allow to cool until able to handle.
    3. Begin removing each clam from its shell and transferring to a bowl. Reserve all liquid and passing through a strainer. Discard shells.
    4. Once the clams have been shucked – allow the cooking liquid to cool to room temperature and cover the shucked clams with their liquid and reserve until ready to assemble.
    1. Heat a large pot of water to cook the pasta – season the water to a tolerable level of salinity *much like the salt level of a soup/broth.
    2. Heat a large sauté pan or another pot (large enough to comfortably hold a pound of cooked pasta) over medium heat.
    3. Add the sofrito until hot.
    4. Begin cooking the pasta to the packages stated time – take 2 minutes off the recommended cooking time.
    5. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid – strain the pasta.
    6. *Working quickly so the pasta does not stick while finishing the sauce; increase the heat under the sofrito to high, stir in half of the pasta water, add the diced butter and stir to emulsify
    7. Add the clams and their cooking liquid.
    8. Stir in the pasta and cook until sauce slightly tightens and coats the pasta.
    9. Season with lemon juice - taste & adjust seasoning if needed.
    10. Shower pasta with parsley, torn mint, bread crumbs & fresh lemon zest. ENJOY!
    *I know cheese and fish is super taboo for some – but I love Parmigano Reggiano showered all over this pasta!