White Clam Sauce

Linguini with White Clam Sauce

One of Dean Martin’s favorite dishes and certainly one of mine. It is simple and easy enough, and quite frankly, I even prefer it over the fresh clams because the canned ones are more convenient, taste just as good, and do not have all that sand the fresh clams eject when they are cooking.  Many recipes will tell you to use a combination of both, as many restaurants do. But this is how my father ate it, and this is one of the few times when canned chopped clams work best.  This even works well as one of the dishes for the Christmas Feast of the 7 Fishes. You will see salt is absent from the list of ingredients. With the exception of the boiling water, you won’t need it. The anchovy, clams and of course the cooked pasta have plenty of salt in it. In fact, you might even want to add a little less if you are cautious of adding extra sodium to your food.


  • 8 ounces (half package) Linguine or thin spaghetti
  • 1-2 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 ounces dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped flat leave parsley
  • 1-2 chopped canned anchovies
  • Fresh black pepper (no extra salt)
  • since of red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Boil a pot of water along with a teaspoon of kosher or sea salt.
  2. In a sauce pan heat olive oil, garlic, butter and chopped anchovies.
  3. Drain the clams from the juice, but keep both separate.
  4. Once the garlic has started to brown, add the 2 ounces of white wine and allow the alcohol too burn off.
  5. Add the pasta to the salted boiling water an cook to package directions, typically 12 minutes.
  6. Add the clam juice to the saucepan and continue to cook and let some of the water burn off.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pan of clam sauce, continue to cook for several minutes until the pasta is fully coated.
  8. Once done, add in the chopped clams, mix and top with fresh chopped parsley.  The clams will heat through very quickly.  Remember, they are already cooked during the canning process, so cooking them more will only make them tougher to chew.


Author: raveniteclub