Risotto Alle Vongole

Risotto with clams. This Italian style clam dish is best with littleneck clams but if you live in a desert, you can substitute canned clams, just make sure to also substitute the clam juice for some of the water. Making risotto is a process a that is similar to making a roux in that you need to slowly add the water in stages and let the Arborio rice cook. Arborio is a high-starch short grain rice that makes a creamy texture when cooked.


  • 36 Littleneck clams (~2.5 lbs) or 3-6 oz. cans of clams
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 8.5 cups water – less amount of clam juice if using canned clams
  • 3 TBL Olive oil
  • 2 TBL Italian parsley – chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic – minced
  • 0.25 tsp Kosher salt
  • 0.25 tsp black pepper


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Prepare Clams
    1. Put clams and 1/2 cup water in large skillet on med. Cook ~4 mins until the shells open.
    2. Remove clams and reserve the water.
    3. Remove meat from shells and set aside.
    4. Or, open cans of clams and drain juice into a bowl and set clams aside.
  3. Make Risotto
    1. Mix clam juice with water to make 8 cups. Put in pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low simmer.
    2. Warm another pan on med-high, then add 2 TBL olive oil. When oil is hot, add parsley and garlic and sauté for 1 min. Add salt and pepper.
    3. Add rice and stir to coat with oil. Cook ~5 mins stirring constantly.
    4. Stir in ~8 oz of hot water and stir until absorbed.
    5. Repeat step 4 until all the water is incorporated.
    6. Turn off heat, stir in clams and 1 TBL olive oil. Cover and let sit for 3 mins.
    7. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top.

Note: for extra creaming, add 1 cup grated parmesan cheese during step 6.