Mom's clam sauce and linguine

February 29, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is hands-down my favorite food that my mom made growing up. Without my expecting it, the canned fish contest has stirred up a lot of parental nostalgia, but nothing says nostalgia to me like this recipe. I requested my mom's clam sauce and linguine every single time I came home from college, and then requested the recipe when I started my own life.

This recipe is very low fat. It's not your restaurant clam sauce and linguine. Feel free to add more butter if that's your thing, but I recommend trying it out with the clean flavors of parsley and clams first. —JessicaBakes

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 8 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine, I like a buttery chardonnay
  • 2 bottles clam juice
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Get a pot of water boiling for your pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide pan. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat (not brown) them until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 1 minute, until fragrant. Splash in the white wine and allow the alcohol to burn off for about a minute before adding the clam juice. Allow the mixture to simmer and reduce.
  3. Drop your pasta, cook for 9-11 minutes depending on brand and personal preference.
  4. When the pasta has about 3 minutes left to cook, add the clams and half of your parsley to the pan. Mix and allow the parsley to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. At the very last moment, after draining your pasta, take the sauce off the heat and melt the butter in.
  5. Serve the pasta topped with your clam sauce (just dump some juice on top too!), a sprinkle of fresh parsley and some parmesan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • twinjadojo
  • SMSF
  • JessicaBakes

3 Reviews

twinjadojo January 4, 2014
Made this tonight using only one, 154g can of whole baby clams. I didn't have any clam juice on-hand, so I simply poured the liquid from the can in at the appointed step. I topped this with organic lemon zest in addition to the fresh parsley. It was delicious! I'd love to stock some clam juice to pump up the clam (ha!) in the future, but I don't think I'd go for another can of clams here. I am so grateful to have another pantry dinner in the repertoire, especially one that incorporates such an inexpensive and nutrient-dense protein (with no risk of a bowl of grit and sand). I think I'll play with some diced tomato added in at some point, too. Thanks for posting!
SMSF September 26, 2012
The ingredients don't list clams -- I assume canned, how many cans?
JessicaBakes September 26, 2012
Whoops! Sorry. 2 cans.