Linguini and Clam Sauce Recipe


Linguini and Clam Sauce is so fresh, light, and incredibly simple to make!

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letters L, C, and S, for Linguini and Clam Sauce!

Linguine and Clam Sauce comes from White Jacket Required, a new book written by fellow food blogger Jenna Weber of Eat, Live, Run. I’ve been following ELR, and enjoying Jenna’s delicious recipes and relateable writing style for years and years. It actually helped inspire me to start IGE!

In White Jacket Required, Jenna gives readers a behind the scenes look at her time in culinary and pastry school, navigating life, loss, and love along the way. Like her blog, the book is written in such an intimate tone – it almost feels like she wrote the story from a diary or letters to an old friend.

I found the book so interesting because there was a time in my life when I seriously considered attending pastry school (which never panned out, obviously!) so it was neat to read about a program I’ve always been curious about, and also because the time span covered in the beginning of the book was around the same time I started visiting Jenna’s blog.

While you don’t need to be a reader of Eat, Live, Run (which you should!) to love the book, I thought getting a deeper glimpse into the events I clearly remember reading about years ago was really cool.

Going above and beyond telling a great story, Jenna includes several of the simple, flavorful, feel-good recipes she’s known for at the end of each chapter. One of those recipes, which happens to be the first (of many!) I dog-eared after reading is Linguine and Clam Sauce.

As you can imagine, we don’t have too many clam recipes floating around the Midwest.

Pork? Yes. Beef? YES. Shell fish? Not so much…

And since my previous experience with clams, up until whipping up this easy pasta that is, consisted of wolfing down copious amounts of Progresso clam chowder in college (right,) and a plate or two of seafood pasta on the Amalfi Coast a few years ago, I was a little hesitant to give Linguini and Clam Sauce a go, but Jenna’s mouthwatering description of her favorite comfort food recipe in the world sounded too good to pass up.

Plus the recipe calls for canned clams, instead of fresh. Surely I could deal with that!

Fully expecting to have to hunt around town for these bad boys, I nearly shrieked with joy after finding a full stock of canned Maine Whole Cherrystone Clams sitting next to the canned tuna and salmon at my trusty Trader Joe’s earlier this week. After draining and reserving the juices from 3 cans of 6.5oz clams, the dish came together in just 15 minutes. So. Much. Win.

Start by sauteing 1 large minced shallot in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until tender, then add the drained clams and cook for a few minutes.

Next add 1/2 cup reserved clam juice, the juice of 1 lemon, and 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes.

Let the sauce simmer and reduce for a few minutes, then add in 8oz cooked linguine and toss everything together. That’s it!

Top the hot pasta with a thick blanket of freshly grated parmesan cheese, then twirl, eat, and repeat.

Note from Jenna: Hands down, my favorite dish. Since there’s no need to buy fancy live clams from the seafood counter, you can make this year-round.

Linguini and Clam Sauce

Serves 4


Linguini and Clam Sauce is so fresh, light, and incredibly simple to make!


  • 8oz dried linguine
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3-6.5 ounce cans clams, drained, with 1/2 cup juice reserved
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add minced shallot and sauté until very soft and tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add clams and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add reserved clam juice, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Toss pasta with sauce, adjusting red pepper flakes to taste. Divide among four plates and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.


Reprinted with permission from White Jacket Required: A Culinary Coming-of-Age Story © 2012 by Jenna Weber, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Each briny, chewy bite of this pasta, accented by pops of fresh lemon flavor, and a nice kick of heat from the red chili pepper flakes was absolutely delicious. Who knew enjoying clams at home, even from the Midwest, could be so easy?!

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  1. Danyel 10.24.2012

    That’s a tough one…Gotta go with fresh baked bread with butter and maybe a big bowl of wild rice soup.

  2. Theresa 10.24.2012

    I love home baked bread! Or does ice cream count as comfort food?

  3. Stephanie 10.24.2012

    Macaroni and cheese is my absolute favorite comfort food!

  4. Kate 10.24.2012

    Homemade macaroni and cheese…YUM!

  5. Sarah 10.24.2012

    Mashed potatoes…total comfort food!

  6. Emily 10.24.2012

    My mom’s mashed potatoes and gravy!

  7. Stephanie 10.24.2012

    That dish looks delicious. Love the addition of the red pepper flakes.

    My comfort food is homemade macaroni and cheese.

  8. Caitlin 10.24.2012

    My favorite is anything with bread and cheese! Marinara sauce is a plus :)

  9. Jess 10.24.2012

    Fresh from the oven Chocolate Chip Cookies…mmmmmm

  10. Caroline 10.24.2012


  11. Michelle 10.24.2012

    I’ve always been leery of clam sauce, but I might have to try it. My favorite comfort food is chili.

  12. Oatmeal!

  13. Macaroni cheeeeese! Always. Love it.

  14. Leada 10.24.2012

    My comfort food is roasted potatoes, no doubt about it.

  15. Caitlin Cress 10.24.2012

    Mac and cheese, obvi. Runner up to pad Thai!

  16. Amy M 10.24.2012

    My favorite comfort food is cheesy potato casserole..mmmm

  17. Judith 10.24.2012

    That dish looks so good! I’ll have to make it this weekend.

    I LOVE spaghetti! Easily my favorite comfort food.

  18. Jackie 10.24.2012

    Ironically, linguini and clam sauce is my boyfriend’s favorite meal, except his recipe includes canned clam sauce and cream of mushroom soup. Needless to say, he usually eats it on his own, but I will have to make this for him and convince him real linguini and clam sauce is the way to go!

    My favorite comfort food is pizza. Cheese, bread, and sauce- what could be better?

  19. Kim 10.24.2012

    Homemade chicken noodle soup. This book is on my to read list.

  20. Rachel 10.24.2012

    Lasagna with garlic bread

  21. Becky 10.24.2012

    I also follow Eat, Live, Run! Love it! My favorite comfort food is my mom’s homemade chicken noodle casserole. A-MAZ-ING!

  22. AnneMarie 10.24.2012

    My mom’s homemade rolls!!

  23. Brie 10.24.2012

    My favorite comfort food is spaghetti with garlic bread. Delicious.

  24. Geneva 10.24.2012

    I loooove udon noodle soup or pho when I am feeling the need for some comfort.

  25. Sarah 10.24.2012

    i love jenna’s blog (and yours too:))! my fav comfort food would be my mom’s mashed potatoes. many memories of only eating that for dinner. and now i want some…

  26. Shauna 10.24.2012

    I would have to say that my favorite comfort food is homemade chili – it’s the best! Especially after a cold run in the Arizona “winter” :)

  27. Christine 10.24.2012

    My favorite comfort food is tuna noodle casserole! :-)

  28. carolyn 10.24.2012

    lasagna and garlic bread! :)

  29. Kelsey 10.24.2012

    My mom’s beef stroganoff!

  30. Stacy 10.24.2012

    That IS a tough one! I guess I would go with Mac and Cheese!

  31. Mac and cheese, any variety, any kind, hands down. I would love to win this book, I’ve been eyeing it for a few weeks now!

  32. Anna 10.24.2012

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway, and for providing this recipe! As a grad student, I appreciate quick, simple but delicious recipes. My favorite comfort food? Definitely my mom’s “lahmacun” (Turkish pizza). It’s one of the best things she makes, and I have fond memories of eating it in my childhood!

  33. Amber 10.24.2012

    My favorite comfort food is meatloaf! So good :)

  34. Amanda 10.24.2012

    My favorite comfort food would have to be tator tot hotdish!!! Yep, I’m from Minnesota! :) Love your blog!

  35. Laura 10.24.2012

    Twice baked potatoes are definitely my favorite!

  36. Morgan 10.24.2012

    Favorite comfort food: a big bowl of rotini and red sauce…swirly pasta ALWAYS tastes better! Same effect as Spongebob mac and cheese from childhood :)

  37. Tonya 10.24.2012

    I’ve been dying to get my hands on Jenna’s book! My favorite comfort food was named ‘Tonya’s Favorite’ in my parents’ house growing up. It is a casserole with browned hamburger, green beans and corn mixed with tomato soup and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. I’m sure it has a real name… :)

  38. Nadine 10.24.2012

    Grilled Cheese Sandwichs and chicken noodle soup….Yummy

  39. Sam F 10.24.2012

    Chicken pot pie is my favorite comfort food!

  40. Sarah 10.24.2012

    A yummy casserole with cheese hot from the oven!

  41. Meghan 10.24.2012

    The book sounds really interesting! My favorite comfort food is my mother’s chicken and dumplings…and a Coke Icee. :)

  42. Mandy 10.24.2012

    That’s a toss up between my mom’s homemade spaghetti and her pot roast. Both are delicious and I have never even tried to recreate for fear of ruining it.

  43. Katiemac 10.24.2012

    It’s called “implash” and it is essentially stovetop shepherds pie without the pie crust. Mused potatoes, gravy veggies, and ground beef. We ate it all the time growing up. My dads speciality!!!

  44. katie kitterman 10.24.2012

    my fav comfort food is pasta with meat sauce and hot bread and butter! yum!

  45. Kayla 10.24.2012

    I could answer with just about anything — pizza, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes — but I blurted out (in my head) “Goulash!” as I read the prompt. My Oma, who died three years ago, used to make fantastic goulash. She would serve the falling-apart-tender beef and thick gravy over wavy egg noodles, or, if she was feeling authentic, spaetzle. I thought all along it was a German dish, but I learned just recently it’s Hungarian. I really need to make it again…and re-create the magic that was that warm, hearty, comforting dish from Oma’s kitchen. Thanks, Kristin!

  46. yummy! I love seafood but I am always scared to cook it! This looks super delicious though!

  47. Kate 10.24.2012

    Homemade Mac and Cheese

  48. Kim 10.24.2012

    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my ultimate comfort food.. but I can’t indulge too often :(.

  49. Angela Rhodes 10.24.2012

    I can only pare down my favorite comfort foods to my top 3:

    1. Homemade(of course) macaroni and cheese
    2. Tuna Noodle Casserole like my mama makes :)
    3. Baked Potato Soup

  50. Michelle Weller 10.24.2012

    Anything with melted cheese but two of my favorites would be homemade macaroni and cheese or green chili enchiladas!

    This pasta and clam dish looks delicious!

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