Linguine con Vongole (Linguine with Clams)

Bring this classic Italian pasta dish, Linguine with Clams, to your own dinner table with my simple and delicious recipe!

Linguine with Clams served in a white bowl with a wide brim with a glass of white wine in the background.

Ahhh, Italia!  A country of romance and molto bene cuisine, especially Linguine with Clams, or, as they say in Italy, Linguine con Vongole!

On the menus of almost every restaurant we visited during our recent trip to Italy, pasta with clams was a featured item. We were thrilled, as this is our all-time favorite pasta dish! It’s a simple creation of clams, pasta, olive oil, garlic and lemon, yet the end result is flavorful and perfetto!

Overhead shot of Linguine with Clams in a round white bowl with a wide brim.

How to Make Linguine with Clams

  • The key to making this a simple recipe is to prepare all the ingredients in advance or while waiting for the water to boil for the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce.
  • You may use fresh clams, canned clams, or a mixture of both.
  • Also, use a dry semolina high-quality pasta for this recipe. It makes a big difference as the rougher surface texture allows the sauce to adhere better.
  • Do not overcook the pasta; drain it approximately 1 1/2 minutes before the suggested time listed on the package and immediately throw it into the skillet. The pasta really absorbs the wonderful flavors as it finishes cooking in the sauce.

How to Clean Fresh Clams

Clams naturally burrow in the sand so they need to be cleaned before cooking. You can remove the sand before cooking by soaking the clams in fresh water for at least 30 minutes. As they breathe, they filter the water and push out the sand and salt. Once they have soaked, use a stiff brush to clean the shell surfaces well.

And we have a simple recipe for homemade bread to sop up the tasty broth!

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Linguine with Clams

Makes 4 entrée servings.
Course: Main Course
Author: Jurga


  • 12 ounces dried linguine
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds fresh littleneck or Manila clams, cleaned and scrubbed (see Gr8 Tip below)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon zest


  • Bring a large 6-8 quart pot of salted water to a boil (one Tablespoon of salt per 3 quarts of water).
  • Add the dried pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender but firm, about 1 1/2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time.
  • Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large heavy skillet and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Heat the olive oil to medium heat.
  • When hot, but not smoking, add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the wine, clams, 1/4 cup chopped parsley and the basil.
  • Cover and simmer, shaking the pan periodically, until most of the clams are opened, around 7 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.
  • Add butter to thicken the sauce.
  • Meanwhile, drain the pasta in a colander. In order to preserve the pasta’s natural starch DO NOT rinse with water.
  • Add the cooked pasta immediately to the skillet.
  • Toss the pasta and clams and mix thoroughly.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley and lemon zest and serve immediately in heated bowls.


Gr8 Tip:
Clams naturally burrow in the sand so they need to be cleaned before cooking. The sand should be removed before cooking by soaking the clams in fresh water for at least 30 minutes. As the clams breathe, they filter the water by pushing out the sand and salt.  Once they have soaked, use a stiff brush to clean all the surfaces well.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!
sm 3/14/19

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