Linguine with clam sauce

My husband used to rave about “linguine alla vongole” that he would eat when he was working in Italy. Any time we would go to an Italian restaurant here in the US, he would seek out that dish on the menu.

In our part of the country, fresh clams are however hard to find and expensive, and it hadn’t occurred to me until recently that canned clams would make a decent substitute.

I finally decided to give it a shot, and the result was astounding! Not only did my husband feel like he was in Milan again, the thought that it was costing him only $1.50 per portion vs. a 30 Euro plate in Italy made him smile even more…

And the best part for me is, it’s super easy to put together! A big salad on the side, and dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes!

Just so you know what to expect, this recipe is loaded with clams. In most restaurants, you have to use a magnifier to find a clam or two hidden under the pasta. Even the suggested recipe from the cans I use calls for half the amount of clams for this amount of pasta (which makes no sense to me as they should be pushing people to buy more clams, not more pasta…). But why be skimpy when clams are so yummy and loaded with nutrition?

So put that pot of water on the stove to boil and get ready for a taste sensation!

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5 from 1 vote

Linguine with clam sauce

An easy recipe worthy of a fine Italian restaurant, at a fraction of the cost! Clams are a lean source of protein, rich in iron, B12 and Omega- 3 fatty acids. Combined with a good measure of garlic and olive oil, this dish rates high on the health benefit scale!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: clams, garlic, pasta
Servings: 4
Author: Veronique Eichler



  • Cook pasta per package instructions.
  • Drain the clams and reserve the juice (you should have about 1 cup)
  • While pasta water is heating, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat
  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes and half of the parsley (2 tbsp). Saute for a minute.
  • Add white wine and clam juice to the pan, bring to a boil and reduce the liquid until it has thickened a bit (about 3 minutes)
  • Add the clams to the sauce and heat through. Cover and keep warm while pasta is cooking.
  • When pasta is ready, take about 1/4 cup of pasta water and add to the clams.
  • Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce. Add the rest of the parsley, stir and serve.
  • Garnish with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese



Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 422IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
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