Photo by: Photo: Jan Smith

Spaghetti with Clams

Peterson notes this method for cooking clams is much like that used for moules a la marinière, the classic French mussel dish. Clams are steamed, and the steaming liquid is simmered with tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. Unlike mussels, clams that do not open are usually fine and need only a thin knife to pry open the shells.

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup pasta, 6 clams, and 1/2 cup tomato mixture)


  • 6 none quarts water
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 48 none littleneck clams (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 none garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
  • none Flat-leaf parsley sprigs


Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta; partially cover, and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 6 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain; place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, tossing well; keep warm.

While pasta cooks, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add clams; cover and cook 6 minutes or until shells open. Remove clams from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid in pan. Add tomato and garlic; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in fresh parsley and oil; cook 15 seconds. Serve tomato mixture and clams over spaghetti. Garnish with parsley sprigs.


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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 329none
  • Calories from fat: 24%
  • Fat: 8.7g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g
  • Protein: 14.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 47.1g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 18mg
  • Iron: 10.2mg
  • Sodium: 189mg
  • Calcium: 44mg

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Spaghetti with Clams Recipe