Linguine with White Clam Sauce

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pasta with clams

Linguine and clams or as Italians call it, Pasta Alle Vongole is the kind of dish that can make a midweek meal feel special as well as a date night dinner or a fabulous dinner for entertaining and the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, Christmas is a couple of weeks away and The Feast Of The Seven Fishes will be celebrated on Christmas Eve, and this is the perfect dish to feature as one.

ingredients for vongole and pasta

My white sauce version consists of good olive oil, lots of garlic, white wine and fresh clams. It’s so easy to make, very affordable and down right delicious!

In my version I like to use a mix of Little Neck clams in the shell and some raw chopped sea clams that I discovered over at Whole Foods from my fish monger. They’re freshly shucked and then frozen.schucked clams

If you can get your hands on these frozen chopped clams I highly recommend, very tender and delicious clam meat that tastes really fresh.

If you can’t find them you can replace it with 2 jars of shelled baby clams, drained of the liquid, I like going heavy on the clams, the more the merrier!

little neck clams

Although it’s not mandatory to add clams in the shell to this dish, I personally love the presentation and the mix of them both together.

opened clams

This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, just get the water going for the pasta and start to make the sauce.

The longest part in making this dish may be the cleaning of the whole clams, I think I do a little over kill of that because one time, very long ago I left sand inside and ruined the whole meal, so I tend to rinse and rinse and rinse, so you’ll want to do that ahead of time.

Linguine and clams

It’s all so worth it in the end when you have this sweet and meaty clam and pasta dish filled with wine and garlicky goodness sitting in front of you!

Linguine With White Clam Sauce
 
A special weeknight, date night, entertaining and holiday dish, linguine and white clam sauce will never disappoint.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
  • 1 lb. fresh shucked clams, previously frozen which I buy at Whole Foods, or ask your fish monger if they carry them, defrosted in fridge
  • (NOTE:) You can replace the frozen shucked clams with 2 7 oz. bottles of whole shelled. baby clams, drained of liquid
  • 1 dozen whole fresh clams in the shell like Little necks or steamers. ( I always get a few more in case some don't open.)
  • 1 bottle of clam juice
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • ⅓ to ½ cup of dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Chardonay or Savignon Blanc
  • ¼ cup and more of olive oil
  • chili flakes enough to your liking
  • a big punch of fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a squeeze of lemon, not too much, just a little
Instructions
  1. You can store your fresh clams in a bowl with ice cubes on top a day ahead, do not submeergee in water.
  2. When ready to use the clams, scrub them first on the shell then place them into a bowl with cold water and a small handful of cornmeal, the cornmeal is said to draw out the sand, so I always do it. Let it sit for 10 minutes and scoop them out and discard the sandy water.
  3. Do the rinsing several times until you don't see any sand at the bottom of the bowl.
  4. In a big pot start your water boiling for the pasta, don't forget to add a nice handful of salt to the water.
  5. In a deep large skillet add the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, saute til lightly golden.
  6. Add the Little neck clams and the wine and let it reduce a little.
  7. Pour in ¾ of the bottled clam juice, (depending on juicy you want it you can decide to toss in the rest) the fresh shucked and defrosted clams or the 2 drained jars of clams plus a squeeze of lemon, put a lid on top and cook and steam til the whole clams open up and everything melds together, it doesn’t take very long.
  8. Discard any unopened clam shells or broken shells as well.
  9. Cook your pasta til al dente and toss into the clam sauce mix.
  10. Add the parsley, maybe more red pepper flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil all over.
  11. Enjoy!

 

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Comments

  1. Why drain the cans of clams then add bottled clam juice. Can you add the juice from the canned clams? Is there a reason not to ?

    • I personally feel the bottled clam juice tastes fresher and not so tinney tasting like you get from the cans, but you can certainly do that, I just prefer the other.

  2. Marie, how many people could I serve with this as the main entree?

    • Oh my this is a hard one, it’s a pound of pasta so at least 4, but then I know family that could eat a half a pound themselves! So you can be the best judge on who you’re serving I think more than me.