Linguine with Clam Sauce

I get daily recipe emails from NYT Cooking and I always glance at the pictures of the featured recipes. If something catches my eye, either by the photo or the description of the dish, I check the list of ingredients and if I like how it sounds and doesn’t look too complicated, I save it to my Recipes folder. This is where I look for new things to try when I have the time and inclination.

This recipe had sifted to the top for a while now, and when I stumbled on some fresh little necks at MarketBasket, I grabbed them. Adding fresh little necks was my only deviation from the recipe posted in the NYT. This is a really quick and easy recipe. The hardest and most time consuming step is peeling and slicing 5 cloves of garlic thinly. If you measure everything out before you start, the whole meal can come together in less than 15 minutes.


  • [optional] fresh little necks ← you don’t need them, but they look good and are more tasty than the canned ones (which you also need)
  • 2 10-ounce cans whole baby clams with their juices
  • 1 pound linguine or other long pasta ← I used spaghetti
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving (optional) ← I didn’t measure this at first thinking “oh, I only need what I need to sauté the garlic“, but then as I was sautéing the garlic, it dawned on me that the only sauce that this dish is going to get is this delicious olive oil that the garlic and spices are sautéing in and some white wine and pasta water….so I added more trying to eyeball what a quarter cup looks like spread out in a pan.
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½-to-1 tsp red-pepper flakes ← I like heat, but ½ tsp was enough
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine ← I used wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBL unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (1 or 2 lemons)
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • [optional] lemon wedges for serving ← I forgot this part and I think it could have used a tad more lemon
  • French baguette for soaking up sauce


  • As I mentioned in the intro, if you have everything measured out this comes together quickly and there is no scrambling
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil ← I added 1 TBL fine sea salt, but you can use Kosher too
  • Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until 2 minutes short of al dente; it will finish cooking in the sauce ← reserve ½-to-1 cup of the pasta water when you drain the pasta
  • [optional] If you are adding fresh little necks, you might want to get them going at the same time as the pasta. You can just turn the heat off and keep covered until you are ready to serve
  • While pasta cooks, make the sauce!
    • Heat the olive oil in a deep-sided 12″ skillet over medium
    • Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes and oregano and cook until the garlic is pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes ← this step took me more like 3 minutes
    • Add the vermouth, or wine, and simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes
    • Stir in the two cans of whole baby clams, juices and all, and cook until just warmed through
    • Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed
  • Add the cooked pasta directly to the skillet along with the butter and lemon zest and toss until the butter has melted and the pasta is glossy with sauce
  • If needed, add ¼ cup reserved pasta water ← I am a big pasta water fan and I like lots of sauce, so I ended up adding probably a whole cup
  • Stir in half the parsley
  • Transfer pasta to a large bowl or platter with high sides
    • Serve pasta topped with a drizzle of olive oil, and the remaining parsley
    • [optional] if you prepped fresh little necks, you can either mix them into the pasta, layer them on top, or serve them in a separate bowl and lets folks help themselves
  • [optional] Serve with lemon wedges

Instant Pot Recipes Air Fryer RecipesOn the GrillWhat’s for Dinner!

%d bloggers like this: