Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

Linguine with Red Clam SauceMy kids love fresh clams so I picked some up from the grocery store and decided to make linguine with clams. I wanted to make the dinner light and healthy so I made a spicy red sauce instead of a butter sauce. It was a very simple recipe to make and tasted fantastic. The sauce wasn’t too spicy for the kids and they gobbled it up. The leftovers the next day were delicious and very flavorful too.

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of
  • 4 oz of pancetta, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can of whole or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped (divided)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (divided)
  • 10 oz linguine, cooked per instructions
  • 1 lb fresh clams, cleaned

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

Cook the pancetta in a Dutch oven over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until browned, remove from the Dutch oven to a paper towel. If there isn’t enough oil in the Dutch oven from the pancetta, add olive oil. Add the onion and cook stirring frequently, until soft and tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the seasonings and minced garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes or the juice from the whole tomatoes. Place the immersion blender into the can and crush the whole tomatoes before adding them to the Dutch oven. Add half the basil and parsley then stir. Taste and re-season if needed. If you like a sweeter sauce, add a bit of white sugar, to taste. Let the sauce simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Go through your fresh clams, if any of them are open, tap them lightly on the counter and if they don’t close shut, the clams are dead – DON’T EAT THEM. Scrub the clams lightly in cold water. Keep the clams in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cook the pasta per instructions. While the pasta is cooking, add the fresh clams to the sauce by the handful and simmer for 4-6 minutes (don’t dump the bowl of clams into the sauce because there could be sand in the bottom of the bowl). If there are any clams that did not open, throw them out. Toss the cooked linguine with the sauce and clams until evenly coated. Top with the remaining basil and parsley and serve. Enjoy.

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

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21 Responses to “Linguine with Red Clam Sauce”

  1. 1

    Emily @ Longley's in San Diego — April 22, 2010 @ 4:32 am

    Hello goodness! This looks so good and super easy to make, but i'm a scaredy cat when it comes to cooking with fresh clams! One day.

  2. 2

    Kris — April 22, 2010 @ 4:35 am


  3. 3

    Jenn — April 22, 2010 @ 4:43 am

    I'm so going to make this soon!!!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. 4

    Melissa — April 22, 2010 @ 4:49 am

    I adore linguine and clams but have not veered from the Batali white sauce with pancetta recipe… on the other hand, a spicy red sauce might just bring Steve over to the dark side, i.e., enjoying clams in his pasta. I shall ponder your version for future husband convincing. 😉

  5. 5

    Jenn — April 22, 2010 @ 5:17 am

    I'm impressed your kids like seafood, too. 🙂 That's great!!!! I'm craving for linguine all of the sudden. hehehe…

  6. 6

    Marjie — April 22, 2010 @ 5:28 am

    I've never had linguini with red clam sauce, and I'm another who's a little leery of fresh clams. You might just change my mind with this! It looks wonderful.

  7. 7

    Food, Fun and Life in the Charente — April 22, 2010 @ 7:44 am

    My favourite, I love sea food, this recipe is a must. Diane

  8. 8

    Manggy — April 22, 2010 @ 8:32 am

    When I read the title, I thought, what are red clams? Lol. I didn't realize till I saw the pic that it was a marinara. Love this (always order it at this particular restaurant) – much better (and healthier) than white in my opinion!

  9. 9

    Sushma Mallya — April 22, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    Oh that looks very delicious pam, nice way to do this one

  10. 10

    Carmen Rosa — April 22, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    Simply, Delicious!!!! Pam, you Know that I love seafoods so I tell you that this looks so good.

  11. 11

    tigerfish — April 22, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    You got me hungry, very hungry. Have not bought clams for a long time now. This pasta dish is tempting me.

  12. 12

    Joanne — April 22, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    This dish looks fantastic, like something I would want to order at a restaurant.

  13. 13

    Grumpy and HoneyB — April 22, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    Grumpy would LOVE this! Your photos look awesome :o)

  14. 14

    Sandi — April 22, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    that looks wonderful Pam….I love clam sauce

  15. 15

    Stacey Snacks — April 22, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    This looks authentic and terrific!

  16. 16

    Michelle — January 6, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    Wow. I made this last night and I left out the fennel seed and used dried basil and parsely and it was the BEST meal I've had in weeks!
    BTW, I'm a long time stalker of your blog and first time commenter. I couldn't not comment on this wonderfully delicious recipe!

  17. 17

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — February 14, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    Bookmarked! Although I’ve never cooked with fresh clams before. Is it hard to clean?

  18. 18

    Cooking Lady — February 14, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    I love all things seafood and pasta. looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing

  19. 19

    Susan — April 22, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    This looks so tasy. I can’t wait to make it.

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