Vongole veraci with tomato sauce

Theo Randall cooks a simple clam dish with the freshest tomatoes and a smattering of verdant basil
By Theo Randall
Vongole veraci with tomato sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg clams, cleaned and rinsed (discard any clams that do not close when tapped)
  • 1 kg tomatoes, skins removed, flesh finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • small bunch fresh basil, plus 1 handful torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 chillies, chopped
  • ciabatta bread, to serve
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


1. In a large heavy-based pan, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil and fry one garlic clove for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Add the basil and tomato and cook for 20 minutes over a medium heat, or until the mixture thickens.

2. In a shallow pan, heat the remaining olive oil, then add the remaining garlic clove and the chopped chillies. Add the clams and stir well. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the clams open (discard any that remain closed). Stir in the tomato sauce and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. To serve, spoon the clams into a shallow bowl and serve with the ciabatta bread and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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