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Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe

A classic Italian dish, linguine with clams intertwines the robust flavors of the sea with delicate pasta. Simmered in white wine, this dish blends garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes for a delightful kick. The dish is then garnished with lemon zest and fresh parsley for a refreshing twist.

Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe
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The key ingredient in this recipe is the littleneck clams. These are small, hard-shell clams often found in North Atlantic waters. They are available in most supermarkets, but you might want to check out a local fish market for the freshest options. Another ingredient to note is the dry white wine; select a bottle that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink. Avoid 'cooking wines,' which can be salty and include additives.

Ingredients for Linguine Pasta with Clams

Linguine: This type of pasta is long and flat, similar to fettuccine but narrower. It pairs beautifully with seafood sauces.

Extra-virgin olive oil: Used for sautéing, it adds a depth of flavor.

Shallots: These are similar to onions but have a milder and slightly sweeter taste.

Garlic: Essential for flavoring the sauce.

Dry white wine: Adds acidity and depth to the sauce. It also helps in opening the clams.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a little heat to the dish.

Littleneck clams: These are small clams that are sweet and tender.

Flat-leaf parsley: Used for garnishing, it adds a fresh touch to the dish.

Unsalted butter: Adds richness and creaminess to the sauce.

Lemon zest and juice: Adds a hint of freshness and balances out the flavors.

One reader, Edgardo Pruitt says:

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This linguine pasta with clams recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are exquisite, and the clams are cooked to perfection. The combination of garlic, white wine, and lemon zest creates a delightful harmony. It's a restaurant-quality dish that's surprisingly easy to make at home. I highly recommend it!

Edgardo Pruitt

Essential Techniques for Cooking Linguine Pasta With Clams

How to cook linguine: Linguine should be cooked in a large pot of boiling salted water until just shy of al dente, as it will continue to cook in the sauce.

How to sauté shallots and garlic: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté the shallots and garlic until just golden, about 30 seconds.

How to simmer clams in wine: After adding wine, red pepper flakes, salt, clams, and parsley to the sauté pan, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook covered until the clams open, which should take about 6 to 8 minutes.

How to toss linguine with clams: After draining the linguine, add it to the sauté pan with the clams. Increase the heat to medium and cook the linguine with the clams, tossing occasionally, until the pasta absorbs most of the sauce and is just tender, which should take 1 to 2 minutes.

How to adjust seasoning: Taste the linguine with clams and adjust the seasoning with more salt, lemon zest, and/or lemon juice if necessary before serving.

How To Make Linguine Pasta with Clams

Tender clams tossed with linguine and a robust white wine sauce makes this luscious linguine pasta a delightfully filling dinner meal!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • kosher salt
  • 1lblinguine
  • 6tbspextra-virgin olive oil
  • ½cupshallots,finely chopped
  • 6garlic cloves,coarsely chopped
  • 1cupdry white wine
  • ½tspred pepper flakes
  • 2lbsLittleneck clams,(40 to 45 clams), scrubbed
  • 1cupfresh flat-leaf parsley,finely chopped
  • 3tbspunsalted butter
  • 1tsplemon zest,plus more to taste
  • 1tbsplemon juice,plus more to taste


  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.

  2. In a very large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until just golden.

  3. Add the wine, red pepper flakes, ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt, clams, and ¼ cup of the parsley; bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the clams open. Discard any unopened clams.

  4. Reserving ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the linguine in a colander without rinsing.

  5. Add the pasta to the sauté pan with the clams. Increase the heat to medium and cook the linguini with the clams, tossing occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pasta absorbs most of the sauce and is just tender.

  6. Remove 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.

  7. Transfer to a serving dish or bowls and serve. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 632.27kcal
  • Fat: 21.98g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.02g
  • Trans Fat: 0.26g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.69g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.38g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.28g
  • Fiber: 3.48g
  • Sugar: 3.74g
  • Protein: 32.99g
  • Cholesterol: 60.62mg
  • Sodium: 924.16mg
  • Calcium: 107.23mg
  • Potassium: 386.79mg
  • Iron: 4.47mg
  • Vitamin A: 227.65µg
  • Vitamin C: 18.89mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Your Linguine Pasta With Clams

When preparing your linguine pasta, it's important to not overcook it. The pasta will continue to cook when you add it to the clam sauce, so ensure it's still firm to the bite when you drain it. This will prevent your pasta from becoming mushy and will maintain a pleasant texture in your final dish. Additionally, when cooking your clams, be sure to discard any that do not open after being cooked. Unopened clams could be dead before cooking and may not be safe to eat.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Linguine Pasta With Clams

Prep ahead: Chop and measure all ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multitask: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the clam sauce to save time and ensure everything is ready at the same time.

Use a large sauté pan: Opt for a large pan to accommodate the clams and pasta, allowing for easier tossing and combining of ingredients.

Keep it simple: Stick to the recipe and avoid unnecessary steps or ingredients to streamline the cooking process.

Organize your workspace: Keep all ingredients and utensils within reach to minimize time spent searching for items during cooking.

Quick cleanup: Wash and put away used utensils and dishes as you cook to keep your workspace tidy and organized.

Substitute Ingredients For Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can provide a similar level of salinity and can be used in the same quantity as kosher salt.

  • linguine - Substitute with spaghetti: Spaghetti is a suitable substitute for linguine due to its similar thickness and texture, and it will work well with the clam sauce.

  • extra-virgin olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a good substitute for extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe.

  • shallots - Substitute with onions: Onions can be used as a substitute for shallots, providing a similar aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a milder flavor and convenience.

  • dry white wine - Substitute with chicken or vegetable broth: Chicken or vegetable broth can be used as a non-alcoholic substitute for dry white wine, adding depth of flavor to the dish.

  • red pepper flakes - Substitute with paprika: Paprika can be used as a substitute for red pepper flakes, providing a mild heat and vibrant color to the dish.

  • littleneck clams - Substitute with mussels: Mussels can be used as a substitute for littleneck clams, offering a similar briny flavor and texture.

  • flat-leaf parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can be used as a substitute for flat-leaf parsley, providing a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with ghee: Ghee can be used as a substitute for unsalted butter, adding a rich and nutty flavor to the dish.

  • lemon zest - Substitute with orange zest: Orange zest can be used as a substitute for lemon zest, providing a citrusy aroma and flavor to the dish.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can be used as a substitute for lemon juice, adding acidity and brightness to the dish.

How to Beautifully Present Linguine Pasta With Clams

  1. Elevate the pasta: Carefully twirl the linguine into a nest shape using tongs to create a visually appealing presentation on the plate.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the top of the linguine to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  3. Arrange the clams strategically: Place the opened clams on top of the linguine, ensuring they are evenly distributed for an elegant and balanced presentation.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil: Finish the dish with a drizzle of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil to enhance the flavors and add a glossy sheen to the pasta.
  5. Serve in a warm bowl: Present the linguine and clams in a pre-warmed bowl to maintain the ideal serving temperature and elevate the dining experience.
  6. Add a touch of lemon zest: Grate a small amount of fresh lemon zest over the dish to infuse it with a bright, citrusy aroma and a burst of flavor.
  7. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes: For a hint of heat and a visually striking element, sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes over the linguine and clams.
  8. Use a minimalist plating approach: Embrace simplicity by allowing the natural beauty of the linguine and clams to shine through without overwhelming the plate with excessive elements.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making This Clam Pasta Recipe

  • Large pot: Use a large pot to boil the linguine and cook the clams.

  • Sauté pan: A sauté pan is used to cook the shallots, garlic, and clams in the sauce.

  • Colander: The colander is used to drain the linguine after cooking.

  • Serving dish or bowls: These are used to serve the linguine pasta with clams.

  • Tongs: Tongs are useful for tossing the linguine with the clams and sauce.

  • Grater or zester: A grater or zester is used to zest the lemon for added flavor.

  • Knife and cutting board: These are used for chopping the shallots, garlic, and parsley.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are used to measure the ingredients accurately.

  • Lid: A lid is used to cover the sauté pan while cooking the clams.

  • Cooking spoon or spatula: A cooking spoon or spatula is used for stirring and tossing the pasta and clams.

The Best Way to Reheat Leftover Linguine Pasta With Clams

  • The best way to reheat leftover linguine pasta with clams is to use a stovetop method. Start by heating a large skillet over medium heat and add a splash of olive oil or a knob of butter to the pan.
  • Once the oil or butter is hot, add the leftover pasta and clams to the skillet. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta and clams, ensuring they are evenly coated with the oil or butter.
  • If the pasta seems dry, you can add a splash of white wine, chicken broth, or pasta water to the skillet to help loosen the sauce and keep the pasta moist.
  • Continue to toss the pasta and clams in the skillet until they are heated through, which should take about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the pasta, as it can become mushy and lose its texture.
  • If you want to add some extra flavor to the reheated dish, you can sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley, garlic, or red pepper flakes over the top of the pasta before serving.
  • Another option for reheating leftover linguine pasta with clams is to use the microwave. Place the pasta and clams in a microwave-safe dish and add a splash of water, white wine, or broth to help keep the pasta moist.
  • Cover the dish with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid and heat the pasta on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating.
  • Once the pasta is heated through, give it a quick stir and add any additional seasonings or toppings as desired before serving.

Interesting Trivia About Linguine Pasta With Clams

The linguine pasta with clams recipe is a classic Italian dish that originates from the coastal regions of Italy. It is a popular seafood pasta dish that combines the flavors of fresh clams, garlic, and white wine. This dish is not only delicious but also a good source of lean protein and healthy fats. It's a perfect choice for a special dinner or a gathering with friends and family.

Is Making Linguine Pasta With Clams at Home Cost-Effective?

This linguine pasta with clams recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as linguine, clams, and garlic, are relatively affordable and easily accessible. The use of simple yet flavorful components like olive oil and lemon adds depth without breaking the bank. With an approximate cost of $20, this dish can serve a family of four, making it a budget-friendly option. Overall, I rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious outcome.

Is Linguine Pasta With Clams Healthy?

The linguine pasta with clams recipe is a relatively healthy dish, but it does have some aspects that could be improved upon from a nutritional standpoint. Here's a breakdown of the recipe's healthiness:


  • Clams are a good source of lean protein, iron, and vitamin B12
  • Olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Garlic and parsley offer various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Lemon juice and zest add vitamin C and bright, fresh flavor without additional calories


  • The dish is quite high in sodium due to the salt added to the pasta water and the clams
  • White wine and butter contribute additional calories and saturated fat
  • Linguine is a refined carbohydrate, which can cause blood sugar spikes and is less nutrient-dense than whole grain alternatives

To make this dish even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for whole wheat or quinoa linguine to increase the fiber and nutrient content of the pasta
  • Reduce the amount of added salt, relying more on the natural brininess of the clams and the acidity of the lemon to flavor the dish
  • Use a reduced amount of butter or replace it with additional olive oil to minimize saturated fat
  • Include more vegetables in the dish, such as sautéed spinach, cherry tomatoes, or roasted red peppers, to boost the vitamin and mineral content
  • Serve smaller portions of pasta and pair the dish with a side salad or roasted vegetables to create a more balanced meal

Our Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Clam Pasta Dish

The linguine pasta with clams recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of fresh ingredients such as clams, garlic, and parsley creates a vibrant and aromatic dish. The addition of white wine and lemon zest adds a refreshing and tangy note, balancing the richness of the clams and butter. The recipe's simplicity allows the natural flavors to shine, making it a perfect showcase for the delicate taste of the clams. Overall, it's a classic and elegant dish that is sure to impress any seafood lover.

Enhance Your Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: A warm and crispy garlic bread would be the perfect accompaniment to this linguine pasta with clams. The buttery, garlicky flavor will complement the savory and slightly briny taste of the clams.
Grilled Asparagus: Grilled asparagus spears seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper would add a delicious and healthy element to this dish. The smoky charred flavor of the asparagus will contrast nicely with the tender linguine and clams.
Mixed Green Salad: A refreshing mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing would provide a fresh and crisp contrast to the rich and flavorful linguine pasta with clams. The combination of leafy greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers will add a pop of color and texture to the meal.

Delicious Alternatives to Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy chicken alfredo recipe is a comforting and indulgent dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and velvety alfredo sauce. It's the perfect meal for a cozy night in.
Mango Salsa Chicken: This mango salsa chicken recipe is a refreshing and tropical twist on traditional chicken dishes. The sweet and tangy mango salsa pairs perfectly with the savory grilled chicken for a burst of flavor in every bite.
Butternut Squash Soup: This butternut squash soup recipe is a creamy and velvety soup that's perfect for chilly days. The natural sweetness of the butternut squash is complemented by warm spices, creating a comforting and satisfying bowl of soup.
Berry Cobbler: This berry cobbler recipe is a delightful dessert that showcases the natural sweetness of fresh berries. The buttery and crumbly topping adds a delicious contrast to the juicy and tart berries, making it a perfect ending to any meal.

Appetizer and Dessert Suggestions for Linguine Pasta with Clams Dinner

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are the perfect way to start your meal. Filled with a delicious mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs, they are sure to impress your guests.
Bruschetta: Fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic come together on top of crispy, toasted bread to create a classic bruschetta that is bursting with flavor. It's a light and refreshing appetizer that will leave your guests wanting more.
Tiramisu: Indulge in a classic Italian dessert that combines layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone cheese. The rich flavors and delicate texture make it the perfect ending to any meal.
Chocolate Mousse: Treat yourself to a decadent and velvety smooth chocolate mousse. This elegant dessert is sure to impress with its rich chocolate flavor and airy, light texture.

Why trust this Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe:

This linguine pasta with clams recipe is a trusted classic that has been enjoyed for generations. The combination of fresh clams and linguine creates a delightful seafood pasta dish that is both elegant and comforting. The use of extra-virgin olive oil and dry white wine adds depth of flavor, while the fresh flat-leaf parsley and lemon zest bring a refreshing and aromatic touch. The step-by-step instructions ensure that the dish turns out perfectly every time, making it a reliable and delicious choice for any occasion.

Want to share your experience making this Linguine Pasta with Clams Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and join the discussion!
How can I tell if the clams are fresh and safe to eat?
Fresh clams should have a briny, ocean-like smell and should be tightly closed. If a clam is open, tap it gently; if it doesn't close, discard it. After cooking, discard any clams that haven't opened.
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use other types of pasta such as spaghetti or fettuccine if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for the specific type of pasta you choose.
What can I substitute for the dry white wine?
If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute with seafood or chicken broth. The wine adds a depth of flavor, but the dish will still be delicious without it.
Can I prepare this dish in advance?
While the clams are best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the sauce in advance and cook the pasta just before serving. This will help to save time and ensure the pasta is hot and fresh when served.
How do I store any leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a pan with a splash of water or broth to keep the pasta from drying out.

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