Clam Linguine

March 11, 2010

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

People who know us well can attest that we are homebodies. As much as we love a night out on the town, either as a couple or among friends, nothing beats the comforts of our kitchen, our dining table, our couch. A reservation chez nous means casual attire (read: my hair is up, makeup is off, sweats are on), cheap entertainment a la Netflix, a bottle of wine and comfort food. This clam linguine is our default comfort food. I make it mid-week when nothing else sounds good, on Sunday evenings when grocery shopping didn’t fit into the weekend schedule and I’m left to forage through the pantry, or at the end of a long week when I just don’t have the energy to really cook (I could probably make this blind-folded, that’s how often it’s eaten around here). Such was the case a couple Fridays back when I couldn’t refuse a date night at home. While Kyle determined which of the Academy Awards Best Picture hopefuls to watch first, I made linguine with white clam sauce (or clam linguine, as we call it) while donning an over-sized hoodie, sporting a ponytail and armed with a hefty pour of Chardonnay. Comfort at its finest. My kind of Friday night.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

(Adapted liberally from Rachel Ray)
  • 1 2-oz tin flat anchovies in olive oil, drained and oil reserved (Recommend: King Oscar brand)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup clam juice or chicken stock
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 6.5-oz cans chopped clams in clam juice
  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine (or regular linguine)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Set a large pot of salted water to boil.

In a large 12 inch saute pan, heat reserved oil from tin of anchovies and butter over medium heat. Add anchovies, onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft and anchovies “melt” into the oil. Stir in red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.

*This is typically when I’ll add my pasta to the boiling water. You’ll want to boil the pasta for about 2-3 minutes less than the al dente recommendation (it will continue cooking in the sauce). When I use whole wheat linguine, this is usually about 6-7 minutes.

Add thyme, Italian seasoning and wine to the saute pan and cook until wine reduces, about 3 minutes. Add the clam juice or stock, lemon zest and juice and canned clams (with juice). Bring to a near boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain pasta and add to the sauce. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Serves 4.

16 Comments
  1. the wicked noodle

    March 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm


    That looks like something I really NEED to make for dinner tonight! Gorgeous photo, too!

  2. Ellen

    March 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm


    I made a similar dish to this on Tuesday night, except I used mussels instead of clams. I also added cooked fresh spinach and broccoli to the pasta-I wasn’t sure how the combination would be but it turned out pretty tasty!

  3. M.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm


    I like your choice of comfort food…..and nights like you just described….especially in winter time. :)

  4. Cathy

    March 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm


    Love the idea of the anchovies–never thought of that–your are great, Carolyn!!
    One thing tho–Italians never use cheese with fish/seafood–not sure why–just know that is how it is (we are both half Italian)–do you have any idea why?

  5. Carolyn

    March 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm


    Cathy: Thanks! I have definitely heard the cheese-seafood rule before, though don’t conform, obviously. Maybe people argue that cheese overpowers the typically delicate flavor of fish? Perhaps someone else can shed light. I think the Parmesan really works with this pasta, though I like cheese on just about everything! I say eat what you like, follow no food rules, drink red wine with chicken and white wine with steak! ;)

  6. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    March 11, 2010 at 8:25 pm


    This looks delicious! My hubby and I love linguine! Its our favorite pasta :)

  7. Katie @ Cozydelicious

    March 12, 2010 at 7:50 am


    Yum! I haven’t made linguine with clam sauce in forever – and I love it! Yours looks so tasty and the pictures are lovely!

  8. Tracy (Amuse-bouche for Two)

    March 12, 2010 at 10:53 am


    Carolyn, we have much in common. Especially the pasta and Netflix. :)

  9. Danna

    March 12, 2010 at 10:53 am


    Mmm This looks delicious! My mouth is watering and it’s not even lunch time yet! :)

  10. I recently discovered Clam juice … and was wondering how to use it beyond my soon-to-be published, mussels with lemongrass recipe. You just gave me another idea. Merci!

  11. Cathy

    March 14, 2010 at 6:59 pm


    made it this past Friday night–love the anchovies–really added a lot..will always do it that way now..thanks so much Carolyn!

  12. Donna

    March 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm


    making it tonight, Carolyn…can’t wait! My husband said he could go for anything with pasta in it when I asked him what he wanted for dinner. Since linguini and clam sauce was what he ate like 5 times when we were in France and Italy, I thought this would be great! Thanks!

  13. Donna

    April 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm


    OH my gosh, Carolyn!!! This clam linguine was delicious…cheese and all!!! The anchovies were such a taste treat to this dish! Thanks!

  14. Mona

    April 25, 2010 at 9:59 am


    Ahhhh-haa!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. We used to go to Fish Tales in Sarasota, FL before they closed. :( They had an escargot dish that my hubby loved. I tried to duplicate it yesterday, but there was something “missing”……anchovies just might well be the key. It was served with lots of bread for “sopping”, sans the pasta. I did use everything else in your recipe and just had a light bulb moment when I read your ingredients. And I always have anchovies on hand! You made my day.

  15. kim t

    November 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm


    we tried this last weekend…it was sooo good. everyone loved it…and it was even better the next day. we all fought over it.
    yummmmm!

  16. Rebecca

    May 1, 2011 at 10:12 am


    I’ve had this bookmarked for a while and finally tried it last night. It is wonderful! No need to keep looking for the perfect recipe for linguine with clam sauce.

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