Linguine with Clams and Ask Chef Dennis

If you ask Lisa what her favorite dinner was, without hesitation she would say Linguine with clams.  Luckily for us Wegman’s carries farm raised little neck clams, that are pretty darn close to wild caught, and at the price a real bargain.  Needless to say we have them for dinner almost every week.

Italian, clam sauce

While it’s not my favorite meal, it is one of my favorite to prepare, because of how easy it is to make!  For that same reason its one of the first entree’s that I teach my students to make at the Mount.   Bags of farm raised littlenecks are readily available in most grocery stores in this area, so they are easy enough to find, and a bag of 50-60 usually runs around $16.00 , add in a pound of linguine and a special dinner for two just became very affordable!

We really began eating Linguine and clams after our first trip to Italy, I think that has to be the first time I ever had it prepared properly.  All of my years of restaurant clam sauce consisted of chopped canned clams….Yuck!   When I think back on what we served….sigh, well I’m just glad I learned the right way to make this dish, and needless to say, I’ve never resorted to canned clams since that trip!

Italian, Clam Sauce

Throw in a nice tossed salad and some crusty bread and you have a feast!  Throw in a glass of your favorite white wine or proseco and you’ve made dinner a memorable occasion.

Now timing is everything with this dish. First of all start your pot of water for the pasta heating up, while the water is coming to a boil get out your clams and wash them off in cold water. This is the time for you to inspect your clams, an open clam is a dead clam, (if you tap it and it closes its just trying to fool you) so discard any open clams. If a clam gets broken by miss handling it will die and it will smell…..this does not mean all the clams are bad but it will impart an odor to the rest of the clams, just rinse them well in cold water. One very important thing to remember about clams is that they come in a mesh bag for a reason, so they can breathe. If you place them in a plastic bag to get them home, remove them from the bag immediately when you get home and place them in a bowl uncovered in the refrigerator. Cold will open clams, but they will close if they are not dead when you move them around.

Now  lets begin!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Linguine with Clams in a white sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 lb of good quality Linguine (De Cecco, Del Verde, or Barilla)
  • 1 bag Farm Raised Little Neck Clams (bag of 50, or at least 15 clams per person)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic sliced
  • 1 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil chopped
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • Sprinkle of grated Romano Cheese
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • splash of white wine (optional)
  1. place large stock pot on stove to cook pasta per directions on the box (aldente is always best)
  2. Finely chop parsley and basil
  3. Chop garlic
  4. Rinse clams in cold water checking to make sure they are all closed, or that they will close when tapped. If they are open they are not use them!
  5. As soon as the pasta water is ready add the pasta and set your timer per instructions.
  6. Place a large sautee pan on the stove and add the olive oil and garlic.
  7. Briefly sautee the garlic then add the clams, basil and crushed red pepper, and splash of white wine to the pan and cover with a lid allowing the clams to steam open.
  8. If you have timed this correctly the clams will open with about two minutes to spare on the pasta, turn off the heat on the clams and keep covered until serving.
  9. Drain pasta, place in bowl and divide clams and sauce between them
  10. sprinkle fresh chopped parsely on top of the clams and serve with grated romano cheese.

I know that purists will tell you that you Never put cheese on seafood, but its up to what you enjoy and how you like to eat.   If you like grated cheese like we do, then add it on and enjoy your meal!


  1. Linguine and clams is one of my 6 year old daughters favorite dinners, she will eat the whole bag of clams if I let her which I sometimes more or less do 🙂 Chef I have a question, If you guest posted on someones blog and then they posted the picture you attatched to your guest post on to Tastespotting under their blog name, whats your thoughts on that?
    Thanks again..

    • this is Kristina (Dennis I hope you don’t mind me getting in this conversation!).

      this has happened to me a couple times, someone posting my photos to tastespotting, etc. the first time I noticed it, it was from a guest post. I contacted the person I posted for and told her I contacted tastespotting to have it removed (most of these sites say the photo should be your own).

      she apologized and said she didn’t know… she was only “trying to get my post more coverage” … tastespotting and all other sites have always removed my photos from other peoples galleries at my request.

      and now when I am asked to guest post, I tell them they cannot submit my photos to these sites, because I will be doing so (and because they are not their photos). 🙂

    • I think Kristina explained it perfectly, and it does come down to sites accepting images that do not belong to the person submitting them. It would be fine for you to submit it and have it redirect to your guest post, but you were nice enough to do a guest post and now the blog owner is trying to get even more from you, by sending your images to foodporn sites so they can get more hits…..that’t not right!

  2. Amen, Dennis! Amen! I agree with everything you say here.

    Also, I think linguine with clam sauce may be my favorite too. It’s something I could eat every day.

  3. I adore linguine and clams!!! I have to admit that I’ve never made it myself though… but you make it seem easy enough that I just may have to give it a try.
    Thanks as always for another wonderful post Dennis. I have a couple of friends who are new to blogging and I’ve sent them to Chef Dennis 101 for some comprehensive info. Thank you for all you do for us!
    And your photo… Wow!! Simply beautiful!!

  4. WOW, Dennis – that pinteresting article you shared is… interesting. (ha.)

    actually, it’s scary. I would certainly not want to be involved in a lawsuit for pinning something. this will be something to think about, for sure.

    thank you, as always, for this info and for all you do.

    this recipe sounds delicious, and the photos are stunning!

  5. I have never had linguine with clams but being in Hawaii I think is the perfect place to try! This sounds so delicious!

  6. This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes when we eat out. Hopefully, with more awareness and bloggers supporting each other, we will all be able to make a dent, even a small one on reducing the number of photos used without permission.

  7. wonderful pasta! My husband loves clams so I’ll keep this one fora special meal for him. Yet another insightful ask Chef Dennis! It’s hard to hear that’s it’s not just new bloggers doing this. It’s easy to think most who plagiarize just don’t know any better. You have done a wonderful job setting up this watch

  8. Oh the olive oil and clams in that photo is drool worthy. I didn’t have this dish till a few years ago when I first move to Connecticut and every other restaurant is Italian. They really know how to do pasta and seafood. Great dish!

  9. You know? I was just having a conversation about crediting fellow bloggers, cookbooks, etc with my brother. I do try to be scrupulous about ‘giving credit where it’s due’ but I do know that I have slipped sometimes. Copying photos is more a concern with me … it amazes me that something so visiual would be ripped off. I don’t copyright any of my images , but I just wish folks would credit or ask permission more often when they lift images for their own use…

    As for the linguine and clams … I used to make mine with chopped clams when the kids were small. Now, that they’re out on their own, my husband and I have graduated to the good stuff in the shells! Haha! great post, Chef D!

  10. I am so jealous that you have Wegmans near you! I miss that place SO much now that I am in CT. They always had the most amazing things there and such selection!

    Your linguine looks great! I cannot say I am a fan of clams, but I know Patrick would LOVE this!

  11. This is one of my favorite dishes to eat, no question. Love the simplicity of preparation, the clam flavor really shines. You’ve got me craving this now and i just had it for dinner last weekend. 🙂

    Always great to read your ask Chef Dennis section. 🙂

  12. OOOOhhhh….yum. Love love love linguine with clams. And this sounds (and looks) like the perfect recipe for it.

  13. What a lovely dish – I adore this! I definitely can relate to the prep work not being very fun.

  14. Linguine with clams is one of my favorite Italian dishes–yours looks wonderful! I am so in denial about bloggers literally copying each other–it seems inconceivable that someone could think that is right.

  15. Chef Dennis,
    One of my favorite meals is linguine with clams!! I’m printing this recipe and making it for the family. Yr such an inspiration.

  16. Linguine & Clams is one of my favorites too! I’m not really sure why, I feel like it’s a classic that just never gets old and I always want to drink tthe sauce leftover in the bowl. Love the simplicity of this recipe, fresh clams is definitely the way to go. Yum!!

  17. Ooh linguine and clams, a dish I haven’t had in a long time but now I’ve got a sudden yen.

    I have had a problem putting the badge on my site even after speaking to the designer. I will try again and if it still doesn’t work, I’ll add it as jpeg with no link. I agree, it’s good to be on as many blogs as possible.

  18. First of all, thank you for the instructions on proper clam handling. I have not had much experience with fresh clams lately and even when I do, I have never known the proper way to prepare or handle them.

    Your first photograph is my absolute favorite. It looks as if it is really right in front of me and I have never ever successfully photographed anything in a shell. Amazing work!

    I have not been good about posting on my blog (that will change) but I am still reading and browsing Pinterest and it does anger me when someone steals photos or recipes. Yeah, there are no original ideas but a recipe and instructions ver batim? C’mon people have some respect.

    I never hesitate to say something which usually results in the removal of the offending material if not the blog entirely which can very well be an admission of guilt. (GRRRR!)

    I don’t feel as involved as I should be with the blog community so I don’t know about officially joining the watch. I’m more of a bounty hunter for bloggers…and my bounty is knowing that I am looking out for other people.

    As an artist this is so critical. Theft of artwork or written material is not acceptable and I have never had the patience for thieves. Or liars.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe and for always having our back!

  19. My husband LOVES seafood! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Linguine and clams — how gorgeous it is, Chef! This is one of my favorite dish. By the way, the badge in place, Chef I just didn’t get to it. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

    ~ ray ~

  21. I can see why she loves this dish so much!

    I am proudly wearing my Watch badge!

  22. I finally got my neighborhood watch badge on my site…thank, Dennis, for watching out for all of us bloggers!

    PS…fabulous dish!!! Wish I wasn’t the only clam eater in the family 🙁

  23. That clam dish looks mouth-wateringly good! So yummy… I am the only one in our home who eats clams, and I would gladly eat them all! 🙂 Thanks for all the great information…

    I am happy to be a part of the Neighborhood Watch! 🙂 Thanks for doing that!

  24. This is a beautiful dish, Chef Dennis! I’m laughing at myself to admit that I didn’t realize clams were alive until you cook them. Obviously, I’ve neither eaten them not cooked them before now. Thanks to how simply you made this look, I’m feeling challenged to give it a try.

  25. This is one of my hubby’s fav meals, great or company! Thanks for the sound advice. I will look into the link attached.

  26. Love the recipe!

    I think the neighbourhood watch is an excellent idea. I deleted my Pinterest account recently, after reading a few forums I decided to take some time out and dig deeper. Who knew aspiring to be a successful food blogger can be so complicated.

  27. Good morning! I just wanted to let you know that I shared this recipe on my weekly seafood round up. Thank you for allowing me share, have a great day! 🙂

  28. Rita Scarborough says:

    I made this tonight for my family. Served it with brown rice pasta and it was wonderful!!!

  29. The only liquid that I see is the olive oil. Is that the only ingredient in the sauce?

  30. Allen Weiss says:

    It is true that so many of the great food recipes are so simple to make…”Linguini with Clams” proves it!


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