Linguine con le Vongole (Linguine with Clam Sauce)


(Adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe via

Serves 4 – 6

The key is to undercook the pasta a bit so it finishes cooking in the sauce. It will soak up a lot of flavor.

2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt

1 pound linguine

12 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 pounds clams

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup dry white wine (you can substitute a good quality clam juice)

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juice

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, coarsely chopped

Heat 8 quarts of water for the pasta.

While the water is heating, get the other ingredients ready. Scrub the clams. Slice the garlic. Chop the parsley. Measure out the pepper flakes and wine. Chop the tomatoes if they’re whole.

When the pasta water is ready, add the salt and the pasta. My linguine said to cook for 10 minutes, so I set the timer for 9 minutes.

In a large pan, heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Add the clams and red pepper flakes and stir for about 1 minute. Add the wine, tomatoes and ½ cup of parsley. Simmer, uncovered, until the clams open, about 7 – 8 minutes.

Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the clams. Stir and cook for about a minute more, until the pasta is done. Add some of the reserved pasta water if it seems too dry.

Remove from heat, add the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil, teaspoon of pepper flake, and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and serve.

Buon appetito!