Christmas Kitchen - An Italian Recipe | Balnei & Colina

Christmas Kitchen - A Recipe From Italy

Christmas Kitchen - A Recipe From Italy

Christmas in an Italian family often means two things, feasting and family. Christmas is a time for ‘abbondanza’, literally ‘abundance’, and whilst every Australian Italian family has their own unique cultural traditions for Christmas, one thing most Italian families have in common is that food and family are the centre of celebrations for Christmas. 

For my family, the festive celebrations normally begin every year at Christmas Eve “La Vigilia di Natale”. Catholic tradition involves abstaining from consuming meat the day before Christmas, therefore our Christmas Eve menu, as for many Italian families, always consists primarily of fish and seafood. Growing up, my parents kept this tradition partly for religious reasons and partly, I think, to keep all of us connected to their birth homeland - Italy.

Dinner on Christmas Eve, 'La Vigilia di Natale', at our place ALWAYS begins with pasta con le vongole e pomodoro (spaghetti with clams in red sauce). In this month’s B&C Journal we share one of my favourite Italian Christmas Eve dishes, “Pasta con le Vongole”. 

Wishing you all the best over the festive season! Buon Natale!

Robert Fonti

Director, Balnei & Colina


Image via Pintrest

There are several variations of this recipe but I wanted to share my grandmother’s version which we all love.

Pasta con le Vongole - Pasta with clams

Serves 4


500g of spaghetti, or linguine pasta


Clam Sauce

700g pounds fresh pasta clams, cleaned and chilled

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine


Pasta Sauce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

½ medium onion, large chunks

2 litres tomato passata (tomato puree) - Try Mutti Pasta sauce available from Coles or Woolworths

3 Freshly Chopped Roma tomatoes finely chopped

2 tsps salt

½ tsp chili flakes 

Chopped parsley for sprinkling



  1. In a medium sized saucepan (4 litre), over medium heat, heat the oil for a minute. Saute the onions for 1 minute then add garlic and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add freshly chopped Roma tomatoes and stir on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato puree, salt, and chili flakes and stir to mix well. Cover and allow to come to a boil. Simmer covered on medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Whilst the sauce is cooking cook your pasta as per packet instructions.
  5. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat in a pan over medium-high heat for a minute. Add 2 garlic cloves and saute for about a minute. Add 1 tbsp of parsley and stir together. Add the white wine and stir. Add the clams to the pan and cover with a lid. Allow the clams to steam open approx 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, lower the heat to low and simmer for another minute. You want the pan juices to reduce slightly but not dry out. Add 1 cup of the tomato sauce to the clams and stir together over low heat for 2 minutes.
  7. When the pasta is ready, drain. In a large pot, add a couple of big scoops of the sauce coating all of the pasta.
  8. Plate up some dishes with the pasta, add more sauce over top and add the pasta clams and sprinkle with some chopped parsley over the top for finishing.

Nonna always served this meal with garlic bread and a bottle of red wine, perfect complements to this dish.

Buon appetito!

Balnei & Colina is a home renovation service company based in Sydney. We specialise in kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations and custom joinery solutions for residential homes.

For more information about our kitchen renovation, bathroom renovation or custom joinery services please visit us at or connect with us via Facebook and Instagram.




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