Linguine and Clams in White Wine Sauce

Linguine with clams in a white wine sauce is the ultimate summer pasta dish. Salty and flavorful like taking a little trip to the beach.

clams and luingine in white wine sauce

Years ago, when I was single and living in the smallest apartment in South Philly, I made linguine and clams in white wine sauce for myself at least once a week. It’s still my go-to dish when I’m craving pasta (which is always), and when I don’t really have time to cook, (because this dish takes about 15 minutes), and I usually have all the necessary ingredients.

It’s easy to make and you don’t even need fresh clams to make this pasta with clams. Canned clams can still make this an easy weeknight pasta dish.


(scroll for the recipe)

  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • littleneck clams
  • canned chopped clams or clam juice
  • white wine
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • pasta
  • parsley


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Can I Use Canned Clams for Pasta and Clams?

Yes! I love using canned clams for two reasons. First, between pasta and these canned clams I can always make this dish happen. They’re both pantry staples in my house so making this white wine pasta dish is easy with both of the main ingredients on hand.

The canned clams also make this dish more flavorful rather than fresh shelled clams. The juice of the canned clams is an important part of the white wine sauce and it adds additional meat to the simple pasta recipe.


What Wine Should I Use for This Pasta and Clams Recipe?

Crisp White Wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are my favorite to use for this pasta and clams recipe, and also to serve with this dish. 


Which Pasta is Best for Pasta and Clams Recipe?

Spaghetti or Linguine is the best pasta to use  make clams in a white wine sauce. Or at least that is my preference.

How to Buy and Prepare Fresh Clams for Consumption:

  1. Ask your seafood shop to make sure all of the clams are closed, when you buy.
  2. Then make sure to keep the clams refrigerated or cold until you are ready to use. It’s best if you purchase your seafood on the day you intend to use it.
  3. To prepare clams for cooking, take a kitchen brush and scrub the outside shell diligently under cold water. If clams open during this process, toss them.
  4. An open clam or mussel is dead, and no longer safe for consumption.
  5. Once you’ve scrubbed your clams, keep them in a cold place or in ice, while you prepare other ingredients.


Linguine and Clams in White Wine Sauce

clams and luingine in white wine sauce

Linguine and Clams in White Wine Sauce


  • 2 tbsp

    olive oil

  • 3

    garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 lbs

    littleneck clams, cleaned

  • 1/2 cup

    white wine

  • 1 tsp

    crushed red pepper flakes

  • 16 oz

    pasta (linguine or spaghetti)

  • 1/4 cup

    Italian parsley, chopped

  • 1 can chopped clams or 1/2 cup of clam juice


  • Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, drop the linguine and cook until the pasta is "al dente" maybe a minute or so less than the box directs. Drain, add a few spoons of olive oil and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Once the garlic is fragrant, add clam juice, or chopped clams and white wine.
  • Add clams. Close the lid on the pan and let the mixture simmer. It should take about 10 minutes for all clams to pop open. If some did not open, toss those aside.
  • Once all clams are open, add half of your parsley. Fish out the shelled clams and put them aside.
  • Place your pasta in a large bowl and pour the mixture over the linguine, retaining a few drops. Add more parsley and salt and pepper if needed. Toss the pasta and then divide into portions on  plates.
  • Top the pasta with the shelled clams, and pour the remaining sauce over the plate. Serve immediately with white wine.

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  • Reply Barbara Berman June 29, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    I will be making this tonight! Thank you!!

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