California Central Coast Recipes

Fresh Clams in White Wine Sauce with Linguine

This my version of a classic Italian Recipe "Linguine con Vongole." It is the "white" complement to the classic Fresh Clams in Red Sauce with Linguine.

Many restaurants offer either a clam or cockle version of this recipe, though few use this combination of herbs. This recipe is based on the Mediterranean aromatic herbs thyme, basil, chervil and red pepper.You'll find this recipe very pleasing and easy to digest.

One time, when we had a visiting Japanese engineer who loved seafood over for dinner at our home, the gentleman was absolutely fascinated by our cooking style. He wasn't used to seeing this type of seafood cooked this style. He watched as we cooked and listened as we explained our cooking methods.He loved watching the "show." He kept saying "I'm going to be so full I won't have to eat again for days!" We assured him that this recipe breaks down very gently and tomorrow morning we'd be picking him up for breakfast at the usual time.

Sure enough when my husband went to pick him up at his hotel, as he got in the car he said,"You are right! I'm hungry!

At our next trip to Japan, when we all went out together with the group of his colleagues, he was still going on about this recipe and how good it tastes and how well you feel after eating it.

I hope that you have the same experience! 2018, Fresh Clams in White Wine Sauce with Linguine
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


4 Dozen hard-shelled small Clams or Cockles
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic , sliced
1/4 teaspoons Dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoons Dried Basil
1/4 teaspoons Dried Chervil
1/4 teaspoons Red pepper flakes
3/4 cup White wine
1 cup Italian parsley chopped

1/2 pound Linguine

Preparation Directions.

1 Clean and scrub the clams, and discard any open ones.

2 In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over low heat, add the garlic and saute until just fragrant.

3 Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the clams. Cover the pan and steam the clams until they open, about 3-5 minutes. Occasionally shake the pan to help them cook.

4 Check the clams. Those that didn't open, take a small paring knife and try to help them open. If they open and smell good, then you can use them. The stubborn and/or the bad smelling ones, discard.

5 Turn down heat to medium-low and remove the lid. Pour the wine over the clams and deglaze. Remove the clams to a side dish, cover to stay warm.

6 Add the herbs and reduce the wine by 1/3. When reduced, stir in the parsley and remove form the heat.

7 Meanwhile, cook linguine in a large stockpot or pasta pot of boiling salted water. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta, then toss the pasta with the sauce.

8 Divide the pasta between individual dinner plates. Arrange the clams attractively around each plate and serve with a little additional fresh parsley on top for garnish.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

It is important to choose a wine with enough acidity to stand up to the reduced wine in the sauce. This particular dish goes very well with a robust white wine like a good Chardonnay or Viognier.

For a more daring selection choose a chilled dry Prosecco.

A tip from Sue!

Cut down on the splatters as you fry or saute

When you're frying meat or fish you can cut down on the splatters by either using a splatter guard or even easier, by simply using a cover for the frying pan. But adjust your heat down to compensate for the increased heat buildup.