Drunken Clams with Sausage

September 18, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I developed this dish by experimenting with my favorite ingredients -- clams, sausage, wine and heavy cream. I love it because it is simple to make, because it takes very little time, because it impresses the crowd, and most of all, I love it for the broth! The broth takes me to another world and I can never have enough of it. But the key to getting the dish right lies entirely in CLEANING YOUR CLAMS PROPERLY! So before you go and take the plunge, here is a link to a pretty good explanation on how to do it http://www.thekitchn.com.... QueenSashy

Food52 Review: WHO: QueenSashy is a scientist who loves her red Le Creuset pots.
WHAT: A comforting clam and sausage mix that combines both sweet and dry white wine for a powerhouse of flavor.
HOW: Just chop the aromatics, saute everything together, steam the clams, and it's time to eat!
WHY WE LOVE IT: The rich, tarragon-infused broth is the perfect match for a crusty loaf of bread, and the Littleneck clams pair perfectly with sausage.
The Editors

Serves: 4


  • 4 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 sweet Italian sausages (about 10oz), casing removed and meat separated into small pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 5 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Muscat
  • 10 large fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe


  1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, until soft, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, celery and fennel and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the sausage meat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned.
  2. Add the wine (both dry and sweet) and bring to boil. Add the tarragon.
  3. Add the clams, cover with a lid and cook, shaking the saucepan from time to time, until the clams are open, for about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the heavy cream, gently shake the saucepan to mix, and simmer over low heat uncovered, for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Spoon the clams into bowls or soup plates. Stir the parsley into the broth, season with pepper and then pour over the clams. Serve with fresh bread.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Celery|Clam|Fennel|Milk/Cream|Parsley|Seafood|Tarragon|Sausage|One-Pot Wonders|Serves a Crowd|Appetizer

Reviews (38) Questions (1)

38 Reviews

Marie November 5, 2016
I ordered this at a fancy restaurant in a college town. Thought 1 dozen clams would never be enough but it was soooo good. I guessed at what was in it and made it a couple days later. I first steamed the clams, so I had that wonderful broth and I mixed it in with just about all of the ingredients you have. It was just wonderful and yes I had some left over for the next day. Great recipe.
Brenda D. July 3, 2016
Made this a few times and it's a big hit. DH not into cream sauce so I add some butter instead. It's still delicious and bread dipping worthy.
Teresa712 May 25, 2015
This dish is one of my favorites, just amazing. The broth is heavenly with some crusty bread.
tota December 16, 2014
Can I make this without the sausage, my husband is vegetarian and this sounds great except for that.
laura J. July 14, 2014
I made this for dinner tonight and it is AMAZING!!!!!! No modifications necessary whatsoever!!!
Chispa February 25, 2015
All I needed to know...
jen February 16, 2014
Delicious...didn't have sweet wine but was fine without it!
bausdyn1 December 23, 2013
I love this recipe. I inadvertantly sent it as I was attempting to download & print the recipe. Kudos to Queen Sashy for a wonderful dish. I cannot, & do not, take credit for the recipe, but I have taken a lot of credit for a great dish whenever I make it.
alicia A. October 8, 2013
its taste great but i will try this using other organic herbals. sounds healthy food. thanks for sharing this recipe
RoundLake C. August 14, 2013
This was fantastic! Perfect for a quick mid-week meal. There were raves all around the table!
Author Comment
QueenSashy August 14, 2013
Thank you for letting me know!
Chloe8 June 7, 2013
Another must try recipe!
bclelia May 22, 2013
Delicious! Who knew that clams were so perfect for dinner parties. Pretty affordable, little effort to make, fun to eat, and present beautifully. I made this recipe last night and it was a big success. My husband requested that me make this dish more often.
Author Comment
QueenSashy May 22, 2013
bclelia thanks so much for letting me know!
Inez D. December 30, 2012
Will try looks great!!
DeirdreMS November 1, 2012
Flavors even better the next night - made it into a pasta dish and it was fantastic.
Author Comment
QueenSashy November 1, 2012
That is a wonderful idea, thanks for letting me know!
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 26, 2012
Could I add mussels with clams and simply cook together? I dont eat shellfish but want to make this as part of an entree spread for a casual dinner party.
Author Comment
QueenSashy October 26, 2012
Absolutely. Go for it. And good luck with the party!
mrslarkin October 24, 2012
congrats QS!
Author Comment
QueenSashy October 24, 2012
Thank you!
viblanco October 16, 2012
I made your recipe this weekend and tonight we finished off the leftovers. What do you know, the flavors are even better! Thanks for the contribution; we enjoyed it.
Author Comment
QueenSashy October 16, 2012
Wow - had no idea!!! Thanks so much for trying it out and for letting me know.
EmilyC October 15, 2012
Congrats QS! This looks and sounds amazing!
Author Comment
QueenSashy October 16, 2012
EmilyC, thank you!
Midge October 12, 2012
Congrats QueenSashy. Sounds truly delicious!!
Author Comment
QueenSashy October 12, 2012
Thank you!
cheese1227 October 11, 2012
Love clams and sausage. Interesting mix of both sweet and dry wines.
mrslarkin October 11, 2012
congrats QueenSashy. Love me some clams. Your photos are always so stunning!
Author Comment
QueenSashy October 11, 2012
Thanks mrslarkin, the truth is I learned how to take photos way way before I learned to cook :)