Spaghetti With Creamy Clam Sauce

Spaghetti With Creamy Clam Sauce
4.8 from 4 ratings
You can upgrade your pasta game by adding this seafood element. Instead of your usual tomato sauce, this dish calls for a creamy white sauce using minced clams. This recipe is by Jeanmarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Spaghetti with Creamy Clam Sauce
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 2 (6.5-ounce) cans minced clams
  • about ½ cup chicken broth or bottled clam juice
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5 shallots or 1 small white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a 2-ounce can anchovy fillets packed in oil, patted dry and minced, optional
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1 (4-ounce) can fire-roasted diced green chiles, optional
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounce spaghetti or linguine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves or 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  1. Strain 2 (6.5-ounce) cans of minced clams in a colander set over a bowl to catch their liquid. Measure the liquid and add chicken broth or bottled clam juice to make 1 cup total. Reserve liquid and clams separately.
  2. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet; add 4-5 thinly sliced shallots. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1 ounce minced anchovies (if using) and 4 cloves minced garlic; cook, stirring, until anchovies dissolve, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in 1 cup vermouth; boil hard to reduce by half, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the reserved broth, can of fire-roasted chiles (if using), 1/4 cup cream and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme; boil hard to reduce slightly, about 4 minutes.
  7. Step 7. Season with pepper flakes and black pepper. Remove from heat.
  8. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook, stirring often until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  9. Stir reserved clams into the skillet; heat mixture until hot.
  10. Drain the pasta; return it to the pot. Add the clam sauce, 1/2 cup grated Parm and 1/3 cup chopped parsley. Toss to coat pasta with sauce. Serve with extra cheese.