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 relatable 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


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


Serves 4

  • 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?!