Cavatapi con Vongole (Pasta with Clams)

When I was a little girl, my mother used to make spaghetti con vongole and it was one of my favorite pastas. I liked the way it tasted and I LOVED just saying the name! Here’s a version using fresh clams and curly cavatapi pasta.

Featured In My CookbookDelicious Under Pressure Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos and riveting information...)

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
Pressure Cooking 101

An introduction into pressure cooking so that you can feel comfortable and confident making the recipes you find on my...View Technique

Pressure Cooking Charts

Complete Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot®) Cooking Chart with cooking times, amount of liquid needed, and pressure release method to use...View Technique

General Tips for Pressure Cooking

It is important to understand your Pressure Cooker to use it properly. Use the items below as guidance to continue...View Technique

Advertisement - Continue Below

Cavatapi con Vongole (Pasta with Clams)

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 4 m
  • Total Time: 24 m
  • Servings:


  • 4 pounds about 50 fresh littleneck or Manila clams
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 8 ounces cavatapi pasta about 2 heaping cups
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ lemon zest and juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Before you start cooking or prepping, soak the clams in tap water (room temperature). Let them soak while you prepare the rest of the recipe, or for at least 30 minutes. They will spit out sand. Then, pick the clams out of the water and give the shells a scrub under running water to remove any barnacles or dirt. Discard any clams that are open or have cracked shells.
  2. Add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the pressure cooker and then pre-heat the pressure cooker using the BROWN setting. Just before the garlic starts to turn brown on the edges, add the wine and stock. Stir in the pasta and tomatoes, and add the clams on top. Lock the lid in place.
  3. Pressure cook on HIGH for 4 minutes.
  4. Release the pressure using the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid. Remove the clams to a serving bowl with a big slotted spoon, discarding any clams that did not fully open. Add the butter and lemon juice to the pot and season the broth to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Discard any clams that have not fully opened and serve the pasta with the chopped parsley and lemon zest on top. Drizzle with olive oil and don’t forget to put a bowl on the table for everyone’s clamshells!
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Comments (6)Post a Reply

  1. We made this last week, it was so easy and quick with lots of flavor. We’ll make it again for sure.

    1. Hi Marsha. If you were to make this on the stovetop, I would cook the pasta separately and make the clams and sauce on its own. Cook the pasta in boiling water and strain. Cook the clams as directed, reducing the wine and stock to ¼ cup each. Add the tomatoes, but don’t add the pasta. Cover and cook until the clams open – about 6 or so minutes. Then, toss in the pasta and finish with the lemon zest and parsley.

  2. I would like to try this recipe but I love in a very rural Midwest town that does not have access to fresh clams of any kind. Is it worth it to substitute can clams… if so do I drain the juice from the can of use it.

    1. Hi Cindy. Sure – give it a try with canned clams. Drain away all but ¼ cup of the clam juice and add that ¼ cup to the pot with the wine and stock.


  3. I made this with few exceptions. I used fusilli pasta (it was in my pantry) and I only had half a tomato that I cut into pieces. It turned out so well. I can’t believe how good the pasta tasted with the infused flavors of the sauce. I’ll never cook pasta on the stove again the texture was terrific. all in all I had a wonderful and tasty meal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *