This linguine with clams is a classic Italian meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes and requires only pasta, clams, oil, garlic, parsley, white wine, and pepper flakes.

This comforting meal of linguine with clams for two is deceptively and blessedly simple. It comes together in less than 30 minutes yet the intoxicating aroma of garlic and herbs will suggest you’ve been slaving all day. (Your secret is safe with us.)Angie Zoobkoff

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A large metal pot filled with linguine with clams resting on a metal stand

Linguine with Clams

5 from 1 vote
This linguine with clams is a classic Italian meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes and requires only pasta, clams, oil, garlic, parsley, white wine, and pepper flakes.
Servings2 servings
Calories925 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • Sea salt
  • 7 ounces linguine (or substitute spaghetti or spaghettini)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 pounds clams (manila or littleneck) cleaned
  • 1 garlic clove thinly sliced, or more to taste
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley (about 1/2 cup) chopped
  • 1/3 cup white wine


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • While your pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over high heat. Carefully the oil, holding the measuring cup low to the surface of the skillet. Quickly add the clams, garlic, and pepper flakes.
  • Cook just until the garlic begins to take on color. Add the parsley and stir. Carefully pour in the wine. (The mixture may spatter.)
  • Cook until most of the clams begin to open, 3 to 5 minutes. If your pan gets too dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water.
  • Stir in the drained pasta and continue to cook, tossing everything with long-handled tongs, until the remaining clams open. Discard any clams that don’t open.
  • Taste, adjusting seasoning as needed and drizzling with additional olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 925 kcalCarbohydrates: 78 gProtein: 21 gFat: 56 gSaturated Fat: 8 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 40 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 15 mgSodium: 318 mgPotassium: 292 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 3 gVitamin A: 337 IUVitamin C: 3 mgCalcium: 51 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Jacob Kenedy. Photo © 2011 Howard Sooley. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Though simple in nature, this was an excellent recipe. The ratio of sauce to clams to pasta was perfect.

My only modification was that I used whole wheat linguine since that was what I had on hand. It was nutty and delicious with the garlic and clams.

I’d recommend having bread to soak up the remaining sauce—you don’t want that to go to waste. I halved the recipe and ate the entire thing for dinner myself! Beware of the huge mess it will make of your stove and floor unless you have a splatter screen.

Linguine with clams is one of my husband’s and my favorite dishes; it never fails, when we go to an Italian restaurant one of us will order it. And this recipe stacked up to many restaurant dishes that we have ordered.

This is a quick and oh so simple dish to make and the combination of garlic, parsley, and wine with those clams is delish. You can turn up the heat on this with the red pepper flakes as much or as little as you like, we tend to like things with just a hint of heat and not have the red pepper overpower the rest of the flavors in the dish.

This is a perfect dinner for two. Add a green salad and maybe some crusty bread to mop up the rest of the sauce that’s lingering in the bowl when the pasta is gone. And trust me, you will want to get every drop.

When cooking the clams prior to adding the pasta, I popped the lid on the pan just for a few minutes to help create a bit more heat in the pan and to help those clams a little bit. When all was together, I still had a few clams that just were not quite open all the way, so I took everything out of the pan except for the partially opened clams and threw in some more wine and popped the lid back on for a few more minutes and they all opened.

A little sprinkle of some Parmesan cheese at the end and perfecto! Husband loved it. What more can I say.

This is so easy! It looks fabulous without even “staging” it. Your bowl will be beautiful. And taste? Yum!

A word to the wise, when you add clams and the rest of the ingredients to the hot pot, stand back! It is hot and it does splash and sizzle.

What would I do differently? This dish is good as it is, but I AM from NOLA, so I would add either more red pepper flakes or some Louisiana Gold sauce just to give it that extra zing that we are used to seeing around here.

All in all? Tester’s Choice for sure!

Select a Tester

This was delicious, a quick and easy pasta dish to make again.

The 7 ounces of linguini was perfect for two of us, but we wanted more clams! I think the clams I bought may have been too large. Maybe they were cherrystones? I did not add the extra oil at the end as the sauce was nice and liquid from the clam juice. We added more clams and were very satisfied.

Originally published February 3, 2020

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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