Linguine with Clams

March 7, 2011

My friend Reed and I decided to run a half marathon together. I must admit that a large part of the lure of this half marathon is the fact that I will receive unlimited New Belgium Brewing Co. beer after I finish, but also because I would like to have goals.

And as a result of increasing the frequency and distance at which I run, I have been craving pasta more often than usual (see: Pasta Puttanesca). We ran a 6 miler on Tuesday and I found myself with an insatiable and inexplicable craving for Linguine with Clams. Inexplicable, because I’ve had this dish once in my whole life and though I enjoyed it thoroughly, I have not craved it since.

So I strolled on over to Whole Foods (I refuse to drive there, as the bursting-at-the-seams parking lot too closely resembles Grand Theft Auto) and picked up some clams and decided to have a go at it. I selected a recipe with a white-wine sauce rather than a cream or tomato because I wanted it as simple and clammy as possible.

This dish was good, but it was not what I wanted. I was hoping for the ocean-in-a-bowl effect I got the previous (and only) time I ever had linguine with clams. I was hoping it would be brinier and, well, clammier. Can you achieve that without adding canned clam juice? I don’t know. Maybe I should have used the 3lbs of clams recommended by the recipe instead of the 2lbs recommended by my fish monger? Probably. My craving is still there so if you’ve got a good, sea-salty recipe, please share with me and I will be eternally grateful.

As you can tell by this post and the last, I have not been batting 100 in the kitchen this week. I’ve been doing good, but I haven’t been doing great. So the next thing I make had better be eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head good, or I’ll consider myself in a slump. But fear not, I’ve got a pretty exciting something up my sleeve to try. Tune in next post where I heroically retrieve my domestic goddess crown. Or at least make a valiant effort.

LINGUINE WITH CLAMS (adapted from Spaghetti with Fresh Clams, Parsley, and Lemon)

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds fresh Manila clams or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti


First, place a large pot of salted water on the burner and begin to heat it to a boil.

While the salted water boils, place a second large pot over medium heat. When it gets hot, add garlic. Saute until garlic lightly brown (a couple minutes), then add the red pepper flakes and saute 30 more seconds. Add the clams and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Stir 2 minutes longer. Add wine and simmer 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup lemon juice and simmer 2 more minutes. Cover with a lid and simmer until most of your clams are open (the recipe said that would be 6 minutes, mine took about 8). Discard any clams that did not open (they are dead). Remove from heat.

Add spaghetti to salted water. Cook until al dente. Drain, then add to pot with clams and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among four bowls. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice over spaghetti in each bowl. Enjoy.


3 Responses to “Linguine with Clams”

  1. Lauren Says:

    Didn’t we make this when I visited you on the Cape way back when and we went clamming with your Dad and used the clams to create an awesome dinner?
    Maybe it was just a dream, but i’m pretty sure it actually happened 🙂

    • We did! I asked my parents about it and they said they followed a similar recipe. BUT I think there’s were clammier because the clams were so incredibly fresh. That was a great time, I wish we were there now!

      • Lauren Says:

        Those were some fresh fresh clams…so yummy! Definitely a great weekend it was! Hopefully there will be some more fun adventures in our future! I have really been enjoying following your culinary adventures!

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