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Linguini with Clams

This Linguini with Clams in a garlicky white wine sauce makes an easy and elegant Italian pasta dinner. 

or at least like the type of thing you’d order at an Italian restaurant instead of making at home – but it’s actually one of the easiest, most affordable pasta dishes you can make. I think the biggest obstacle for people is a fear of cooking shellfish like clams and mussels at home, which can be a little intimidating. I promise they are the easiest thing in the world to cook and, once you try it, you’ll wonder what took you so long!

For this dish, you can do all of the prep and make the clam sauce in the time it takes to boil the pasta, so dinner is done in 30 minutes. To complete the meal, toss a salad, warm some crusty bread, and pour a glass of the same white wine that you used to make the sauce.

Prep Time

        Prep time: 10 minutes
        Cook time: 20 minutes, plus at least 20 minutes to soak the clams
        Yield: Serves 4 - 6


        kosher salt
    •    1 pound linguine
   •    3 tbsps unsalted butter
    •    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    •    6 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
    •    6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    •    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots, from 2 shallots
    •    1 tsp lemn zest, from 1 lemon plus more to taste
   •    1 tbsp lemon juice, from 1 lemon plus more to taste
    •    2 pounds Littleneck clams (about 40 - 50), scrubbed
    •    1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
    •    1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc


  1. In large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to a boil. Add the linguine and cook according to the package directions until just shy of al dente (the pasta should still be firm to the bite since it will cook another minute or two in the sauce).
  2. Meanwhile, in a very large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot nut not smoking. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add the wine, red pepper flakes, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, clams and 1/4 cup of the parsley; bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the clams open, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.
  3. Reserved 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain the linguine in a colander (do not rinse). Add the pasta to the sauté pan with the clams. (If you don't have room for everything in one pan, transfer the clams to a plate and cover to keep warm. When ready to serve, add them back to the pasta on a serving platter). Increase the heat to medium and cook the linguini with the clams, tossing occasionally, until the pasta absorbs most of the sauce and is just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. If necessary, add some of reserved cooking water to keep moist. Removed the pan from the heat. Add the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley; toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, lemon zest and/or lemon juice, if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish or bowls and serve.

This great family recipe is thanks to Once Upon A Chef at


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