Elbow Macaroni with clams and artichokes recipe

By Theo Randall

  1. Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter
  2. Rating

Theo Randall discovered this pasta dish made with clams and artichokes in a lovely restaurant in Rome.


  1. 2 Roman artichokes
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  5. 500g clams
  6. 50ml white wine
  7. 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  8. 400g elbow macaroni
  9. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1. Prepare the artichokes by slicing them into eighths after soaking them in water acidulated with lemon juice (see tip for full explanation).
  2. 2. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. Add the artichokes and half a glass of water, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, until the artichokes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Wash the clams thoroughly in cold water, discarding any with cracked or open shells, then set aside.
  4. 4. Place a large pan over a high heat, add the clams, white wine and parsley, then cover and cook for 3–4 minutes, until all the clams have opened.
  5. 5. Leave to cool, then strain through a fine sieve, reserving the cooking juices. Remove the clams from their shells, leaving a few in their shells to look pretty. Add all the clams to the artichokes with their cooking juices.
  6. 6. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the artichokes, together with a spoonful or two of the pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Toss together and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Chef's tip

Using a small, sharp knife, trim off the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, exposing the tender,yellowy leaves underneath. Slice off the top 2cm of each artichoke. Peel the stalk with a potato peeler, removing all the green, bitter parts.Take a teaspoon or soup spoon, depending on size, and scoop out the choke. If the artichokes are young, the chokes will be very small; if old, they will be large and quite furry. Place the artichokes in a bowl of water acidulated with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Leave for a few minutes, then cut each artichoke lengthwise in half and each half lengthwise into eighths. Always buy clams with tightly closed shells – this is a sign that they are alive. This recipe is taken from Pasta by Theo Randall (Ebury Press).


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