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Oct 20, 2012 06:35 AM

vongole (little clams?)

Hi I'm from Italy and living in Boston
Any idea where I can find some vongole? they are tiny little clams
I need them to cook linguine. I've tried but the ones I've found so far are very big.

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  1. You are looking for the clams called "littlenecks." When in season you can find them at many supermarkets, e.g. Whole Foods.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      If you go to a specialty fishmonger you might be able to get countnecks which are even smaller (Courthouse Seafood, New Deal, the Fishmonger in Cambridge, etc). Another alternative are cockles which Courthouse regularly carries, but not certain about other vendors. And mahogany clams are reasonably small and widely available including at Asian markets.

      1. re: Luther

        Littlenecks is about twice the size of vongole. Vongole must be available sine I have had them in Chinese restaurants. Googling countnecks 1 -1 1/2 inch in size and that might work but my memory of Vongole is that they are smaller. If you find any let us know since I also would like a nice pasta vongole!


        1. re: Ferrari328

          If you're looking for local hard-shell clams, countnecks are the smallest you can get. Cockles are delicious, but I suspect the wrong clam for this application.

          1. re: Ferrari328

            The tiny clams you usually see in e.g. Fujianese food are Manila clams, I think.

        2. They have littlenecks as well as cockles at Mercato Del Mare in the North End.

          1. Hi Claudio,

            When I was summering in Italy as a young girl, I remember the clams called telline used in pasta alle vongole, which were no more than 1/2 inch in size or smaller. If that's what you're looking for, I've never seen them here in the US.

            JoJo (Giovanna)

            1. I thought "vongole" just meant "clams" not referring to a specific species or size? Anyway, they have tiny clams precooked and frozen at the C-Mart in Chinatown. I'm not sure what kind they are, the package just says "baby clams." They are less than 1 cm. You can find them in the frozen section by the cash registers. There are other sizes as well, but I usually buy the tiny ones.

              They also have died salted fish similar to baccala over by the produce section, in case you have trouble finding it elsewhere or want to try something a little different.