Linguine with Clam Sauce Recipe

Recipe Category: Pasta

Linguine With Clam Sauce Recipe


Makes 2 To 3 Servings

  • salt for the pasta water
  • ½ pound linguine or spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus a little extra for the hot pasta)
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 good-sized cloves)
  • big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds fresh littleneck or manila clams (in the shell)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put a large pot of cold water to boil over high heat, and add a tablespoon of salt
  2. Place a large colander in the sink
  3. When the water boils, add the linguine, keeping the heat high
  4. Cook for the amount of time recommended on the package, tasting the pasta toward the end of the suggested time to be sure it is not getting overcooked
  5. When it is just tender enough to bite into comfortably but not yet mushy, dump the water-plus-pasta into the colander
  6. Shake to mostly drain (it’s okay to leave some water clinging), and drizzle lightly with olive oil
  7. Leave it in place-you’ll need it in just a few minutes
  8. While the pasta is cooking, place a soup pot or a dutch oven (something large and deep with a lid at the ready) over medium heat
  9. Let this pot heat for a minute, then add the 3 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot
  10. Add the onion and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion softens
  11. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes, then pour in the white wine, and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the wine cooks down to about half of its original volume
  12. This allows some of the wine, plus some of its alcohol, to evaporate, concentrating the flavors
  13. Add the clams, cover, and cook, shaking the pot occasionally, for 3 minutes without opening the lid
  14. After this amount of time, take a look to see if the clams have opened
  15. If some are still unopened, give the pot a shake, cover the pot again, and cook for another minute or so, until all of the clams open
  16. Discard any that fail to open
  17. With the pot still over the heat, add the cooked linguine and toss for about 30 seconds to mix well
  18. Remove the pot from the heat
  19. Add the butter, sprinkle in the parsley, grind in some black pepper, and toss again
  20. Serve right away, using tongs to put some linguine in each bowl, and then topping with some of the clams
  21. Be sure to include some of the liquid at the bottom of the pot in each serving
  22. Pass the pepper mill and a shaker of red pepper flakes

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