Clam Pasta is my favorite Italian pasta dish. I always order clam pasta or “Linguine alle Vongole” whenever I dine out at Italian restaurants.
It’s made with fresh clams such as Manila clams or little neck clams, with linguine, in a white wine garlic butter sauce.
The taste is absolutely delicious, with the briny and fresh flavors of clams! Today I am going to teach you how to kick it up a notch by making Spicy Clam Pasta.
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Garlic Butter White Wine Sauce
What makes clam pasta so delicious? It’s the sauce. It takes only a few ingredients below to make a killer pasta sauce:
- Garlic – lots of minced garlic.
- Butter – the more the better.
- Olive oil – you can’t make an authentic pasta without olive oil; extra virgin olive oil will be the best.
- White wine – use your favorite white wine or if you have Japanese cooking sake, use it!
Fresh Clams vs. Canned Clams
Use fresh clams if possible. You can buy fresh clams from fish market, or at supermarkets. The shells are tightly closed if they are fresh.
Another tip is to ask your store when they get their shipment for the seafood. Go to the store the day the clams arrive and you are sure to get the freshest clams!
How Do You Cook Fresh Clams for Pasta?
For clam pasta, you want to use fresh, hard-shell clams such as Manila clams, little neck clams, or cherry stone clams. I prefer Manila clams.
It’s very easy to cook clams, first you need to soak the clams in cold water, clean and scrub the hard shells with a brush.
To cook the clams, just add to the skillet. The shells are open when they are cooked, releasing the juicy flavors inside the clams into the sauce.
Some clams are more stubborn and take longer time to cook. If they do not open up, pick them out and toss them away as they are probably dead clams and foul-smelling.
How Do You Make Clam Pasta Spicy?
Crushed red pepper flakes turn a regular clam pasta into spicy clam pasta that is even more delicious, in my opinion.
The amount of red pepper flakes depends on your personal liking. You can always add some on top of the pasta before serving.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
This recipe is only 608 calories per serving.
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- 10 oz. linguine
- 1.5 - 2 lbs. Manila clams
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick butter)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine or Japanese cooking sake
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 dashes ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Soak the clams in cold water. Scrub the shells with a brush. Rinse with cold water, drained and set aside.
- Heat up a pot of water and bring it to boil. Cook the linguine until al dente, per the package instructions. Drain the linguine and set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- Heat up a skillet on high heat and add the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and saute until they turn slightly brown. Add the red pepper flakes, stir a few times before adding the clams. Toss the clams around a few times. Add the white wine, salt and black pepper. Cover the skillet with its cover and cook the clams for about 1-2 minutes, or until the shells are all open.
- Add the linguine and pasta water into the skillet. Stir to combine well. Add the parsley, mix well. Turn off heat and serve immediately. Squeeze some lemon juice on the pasta before serving.
Serving Size4 people
Amount Per Serving Calories 608Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 81mgSodium 1338mgCarbohydrates 62gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 34g