White Wine and Garlic Clam Pasta

White Wine and Garlic Clam Pasta

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
766 Calories
23g Fat
83g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 766
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 2023mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 83g 30%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 60mg 299%
Calcium 174mg 13%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 1514mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Clams are a great seafood ingredient and bring a wonderful salty flavor to a variety of preparations, from rice to pasta to soups. Steamed, grilled, baked, or even served raw, clams are a lean source of protein and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. With an outstanding 14.5 grams of protein per 100-gram serving and just 79 calories, clams can be part of a healthy diet and change up your usual dinner menu for something a little more adventurous.

This beautiful dish is great for dinner parties, as it cooks fast and you won't need to mind the stove for longer than 20 minutes. Our clams are steamed in a light broth of fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, and white wine and served with spaghetti or linguine pasta, so prep all the vegetables ahead, boil the pasta water, and before you know it you'll be serving a flavorful meal.

The ingredients in this dish are few and simple because the clams give it most of its delicious flavor. It's best to use fresh clams if possible to really take advantage of their salty sweetness. The best clams for pasta sauces are littlenecks, Manila, or cockles.

"There's nothing quite like a bowl of delicious linguine with clams. The garlicky aroma will permeate your kitchen and combine with the briny scent of clams as they open. It's essential to sop-up all the wonderful broth with a great loaf of crusty bread." —Diana Andrews

White Wine and Garlic Clam Pasta/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, more for the pasta water

  • 25 small clams, scrubbed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes, more to taste

  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 6 ounces dry spaghetti, or linguine

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    White Wine and Garlic Clam Pasta ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. Boil a generous amount of well-salted water in a large pot. Meanwhile, soak the clams in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water.

    Soak the clams in a bowl of cold water

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. In a large, heavy-based pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.

    onions cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Add the garlic, chili flakes, and salt to the pot and stir for about 20 seconds.

    Add the garlic, chili flakes, and salt to the pot with the onions

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for about 7 minutes, until their juice starts to evaporate.

    Add the chopped tomatoes to the onion mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

    pasta cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  7. In the pot with the sauce, turn the heat up to medium-high and add the clams to the pot. Cover with a lid. After about 2 to 3 minutes, add the wine to the pot. Cover again and shake the pot from side to side.

    clams added to the sauce in the pot

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  8. Cook the clams for a further 5 minutes, or until they open. Add the parsley and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and shake the pot again. Check for any unopened clams and discard.

    clams cooking in the pot with th esauce

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  9. Approximately at this point, the pasta should be ready to be drained. Drain and place in a big serving bowl or large plate.

    pasta on a platter

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  10. Pour the clam mixture on top. Mix the pasta and sauce well with the help of two big serving forks or some tongs. Serve immediately.

    White Wine and Garlic Clam Pasta on a platter

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

If You Can't Find Fresh Clams

If you can't find fresh clams, there is always a way to make the best out of canned or jarred clams. Buy canned clams that have just two ingredients on the label: clams and clam juice. Other cans might have additional preservatives or flavorings, but good quality canned clams shouldn't need more than their own flavor and juice.

For our recipe use between 6 to 8 ounces of canned clams. As the canning process already has cooked the clams, only heat up the clams for a maximum of 2 minutes. Otherwise, their texture will be too rough and rubbery. Simply follow the recipe and make the sauce as instructed but add the clams at the end alongside 2 tablespoons of clam juice from the can for an extra kick of briny seafood flavor.

Article Sources
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  1. Clams, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.