Clams with Pasta and Chilli (Vongole) – 5:2 Fast Diet Recipes

Clams with Pasta, Chilli and Coriander  – 5:2 fast diet recipes to share with friends:

5-2 fast diet Clams with pasta

Sometimes I look at the food I am eating on the 5:2 fast diet and wonder how those with families/partners cope.  I LOVE soups and fish, I’ve always eaten a lot of vegetables and I am quite adventurous with what I will try.  But, this fast diet is quite severe – 500 calories during the day, which I spread across two meals, skipping breakfast.  I also cope by eating a lot of soup.  If you avoid adding starchy vegetables, flour and cream, many soups are well under 100 calories for a bowlful.  I made vast quantities of fresh tomato soup recently – at under 70 calories for a bowlful of the soup with no garnish, it is a great option for fast day lunches, but quite nice enough for everyone to enjoy.

Main meals though, are a little more of a challenge.  By the time I’ve made an allowance for milk in my coffee I’m usually left with around 300 to 380 calories for my evening meal.  My personal preference on the 5:2 diet is to keep my main meal until the evening and then eat something which is quite high protein, low carbohydrate, in the hope it will stop me feeling hungry during the night.  Until recently I’d completely forgotten about shellfish as a meal option, although I DO love moules.  Then, I did a review of the Tilia service and I wanted to include some shellfish because I thought it would be a good measure of quality.  So, I had a nice package of palourde clams to use.

Now, a couple of years ago I remember seeing campervan man cooking mussels this way.  I don’t think he added pasta.  But, I knew that the clams alone wouldn’t quite be enough for me, even on a fast day, so I stirred through a little linguine, which I guess is something like an unbalance Vongole recipe?  But without the tomato and with coriander?

It was delicious, so I’m going to share!

Clams with Chilli and Coriander 5:2 diet

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Allergy Shellfish
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot


  • 250g Live Clams
  • 50ml Dry White Wine
  • 1 Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 Red Chilli (de-seeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 handful Fresh Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil
  • 30g Linguine


Step 1 Cook the linguine according to the directions on the packet
Step 2 While the pasta is cooking, warm the oil in a medium saute pan with a lid then gently soften the shallot and chilli.
Step 3 Add the wine and the clams and put the lid on the pan.
Step 4 Continue to cook over a low-medium heat until the clams are opened. Discard any that don't open
Step 5 Drain the pasta and add it into the pan. Stir well
Step 6 Stir in most of the coriander, saving a little to garnish the dish
Step 7 Season with pepper (and salt if necessary) and serve

Now, I only used a very little pasta in this 5:2 fast day diet recipe.  And, I deliberately added that because I think I would have craved bread without some kind of carbohydrate in the dish.  If you are not following the 5:2 diet or, if you have the spare calories, by all means serve this with a crusty roll.  Whatever, it’s delicious.  I used coriander because I like the taste and I happened to have some growing, but it would work equally well with fresh flat leaf parsley (closer to the traditional recipe for pasta vognole). You could also add coconut milk or cream for a slightly ‘richer’ dish.

clams with pasta


The best thing about this dish for me is that it simply doesn’t look like diet food.  And it certainly doesn’t TASTE like diet food.  So, this is a dish you could share with friends or family who are NOT following the 5:2 diet.  Even if you are on a fast day.


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  1. says

    This is one of my favorite dishes, Fiona! I can just taste it now. So fresh and delicious. I think I could do without the crusty bread if I could just have a little more pasta, please. One other good thing about eating clams is it takes a while so perhaps you feel like you are having a bigger meal.

    • says

      well, I loved it. And, the tiny portion of pasta was only because I was doing it for a fast day! But, of course any normal meal is usually around 500 calories – lots spare for pasta AND crusty bread!!!

  2. Linda says

    I usually have days in the week where I’m not earring with the rest of the family, or they’re going for a KFC etc. the flexibility of 5:2, the fact that its only 2 days a week, makes it easier than a diet which requires effort and compromise every single day.

  3. Rebecca says

    This looks and sounds delicious! Your creativity in the kitchen when it comes to your fast days is amazing.

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