Weeknight Cooking

Linguine With Clams, Parsley & Lemon

April 21, 2019
7 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Once the ingredients are prepped, the meal comes together very quickly. While the pasta cooks, the clams, garlic, parsley, white wine, and lemon juice simmer, doing their job effortlessly in a separate pan. Hopefully you'll feel like a hero as you toss the pasta with the clams (or at least I did that night, now many years ago). Most of the time, all of the clams open and the result is very satisfying, and a wonderful surprise if you’ve got an audience of small children.

Adapted and tweaked over the years from an old Gourmet recipe (May 2002). —Amanda Moose

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The Lemony, Garlicky Pasta That Helped Me Outsmart My 2-Year-Old. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds fresh Manila clams or small littleneck clams, rinsed several times in cold water
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound linguine
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic and sauté until light brown, a little less than 1 minute. Add clams and 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley; stir 2 minutes. Add wine; simmer 2 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice. Cover and simmer until clams open, about 6 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta.
  3. Add pasta to clam mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes, if using. Add pasta water in small increments as needed. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emily Long
    Emily Long
  • KelseyB
  • Mindthegap
  • Justine Simonson
    Justine Simonson
Amanda Moose

Recipe by: Amanda Moose

Amanda Moose was Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, in partnership with The Julia Child Foundation, and was previously Special Assistant to President Obama from 2012 to 2017.

6 Reviews

Lori February 13, 2022
Way too much oil and way too much lemon! Back to my standard 2 tablespoons of good olive oil, 1/4 cup of chopped garlic, 8 oz of clam juice, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Pete M. February 9, 2022
I tried this as a shortcut. It is inferior to the more complex (and authentic!) version where the pasta is cooked in clam liquor with a few finely chopped clams. It takes more work, because the pasta takes longer at lower temp, and requires more stirring.
Emily L. May 3, 2021
A quick but fancy looking meal! The flavors came together nicely. We added shrimp to it as well. This will be a staple in our house!
KelseyB April 1, 2020
I used a Sancerre for wine. The lemon overpowered everything. I’d try again with half.
Mindthegap August 13, 2019
So simple and speedy yet such amazing flavor! I had to use some chopped, canned clams as I could only lay hands on a couple of pounds of fresh ones but the taste was still superb.
Justine S. May 15, 2019
This was so delicious and super easy... and to my delight, my two-year-old LOVED it. But only if he could dig the clams out of the shells by himself - he did not want them if we pulled them out for him. Thanks for sharing!