youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo whatsapp Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Email Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Linguine With Clams

by . Featured in EATING VINTAGE MINI, and HOW TO EAT
Print me

Introduction

I know an Italian would be horrified at the notion of using 150g / 5 ounces of pasta for just one person, but I cannot apologise. Nor do I for using linguine in place of the more traditional spaghetti; I prefer, here, the more substantial, more resistant and at the same time more sauce-absorbent tangle they make in the mouth.

A big bowl of this is my favourite solo supper. If you wanted to serve this as a starter, or a modest lunch, then by all means allow it to stretch to two.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I know an Italian would be horrified at the notion of using 150g / 5 ounces of pasta for just one person, but I cannot apologise. Nor do I for using linguine in place of the more traditional spaghetti; I prefer, here, the more substantial, more resistant and at the same time more sauce-absorbent tangle they make in the mouth.

A big bowl of this is my favourite solo supper. If you wanted to serve this as a starter, or a modest lunch, then by all means allow it to stretch to two.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Linguine with Clams
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 1 greedy person

Metric Cups
  • 250 grams palourde clams
  • salt for pasta water, as desired
  • 150 grams linguine
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (or more if you want this fiery)
  • 80 millilitres dry white vermouth or wine
  • 1 - 2 x 15ml tablespoons fresh flatleaf parsley (chopped)
  • 8 ounces Manilla or littleneck clams
  • salt for pasta water, as desired
  • 5 ounces linguine
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you want this fiery)
  • ⅓ cup dry white vermouth or wine
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh italian parsley (chopped)

Method

  1. Put the clams to soak in a bowl of cold water while you heat the water for the pasta. When the water comes to the boil, add salt and then the linguine. Cook the linguine until nearly but not quite ready: you’re going to give them a fractional amount more cooking with the clams and their winey juices. Try and time this so that the pasta’s ready at the time you want to plunge it into the clams. Otherwise drain and douse with a few drops of olive oil.
  2. So, about halfway through the pasta-cooking time, mince or finely slice the garlic. In a pan (which comes with a lid) into which you can fit the pasta as well later, pour the oil, add the garlic, then put on a lowish heat, and fry the garlic gently for a minute, making sure it doesn’t burn. Stir in the pepper flakes.
  3. Drain the clams, discarding those that remain open, and add them to the garlic pan. Turn up the heat and pour over the vermouth or wine and clamp on the lid. In 2-3 minutes, the clams should be open. Discard any that stay closed. Add the pasta, put the lid on again and swirl about. In another minute or so everything should have finished cooking and come together: the pasta will have cooked to the requisite tough tenderness and absorbed the salty, garlicky winey clam juices, and be bound in a wonderful almost-pungent sea-syrup. But if the pasta needs more cooking, clamp on the lid and give it more time. Chuck out any clams which have failed to open.
  4. Add half the parsley, shake the pan to distribute evenly, and turn into a plate or bowl and sprinkle over the rest of the parsley. Cheese is not grated over any pasta with fish in it in Italy (nor indeed where garlic is the predominant ingredient, either) and the rule holds good. You need add nothing. It’s perfect already.
  1. Put the clams to soak in a bowl of cold water while you heat the water for the pasta. When the water comes to the boil, add salt and then the linguine. Cook the linguine until nearly but not quite ready: you’re going to give them a fractional amount more cooking with the clams and their winey juices. Try and time this so that the pasta’s ready at the time you want to plunge it into the clams. Otherwise drain and douse with a few drops of olive oil.
  2. So, about halfway through the pasta-cooking time, mince or finely slice the garlic. In a pan (which comes with a lid) into which you can fit the pasta as well later, pour the oil, add the garlic, then put on a lowish heat, and fry the garlic gently for a minute, making sure it doesn’t burn. Stir in the pepper flakes.
  3. Drain the clams, discarding those that remain open, and add them to the garlic pan. Turn up the heat and pour over the vermouth or wine and clamp on the lid. In 2-3 minutes, the clams should be open. Discard any that stay closed. Add the pasta, put the lid on again and swirl about. In another minute or so everything should have finished cooking and come together: the pasta will have cooked to the requisite tough tenderness and absorbed the salty, garlicky winey clam juices, and be bound in a wonderful almost-pungent sea-syrup. But if the pasta needs more cooking, clamp on the lid and give it more time. Chuck out any clams which have failed to open.
  4. Add half the parsley, shake the pan to distribute evenly, and turn into a plate or bowl and sprinkle over the rest of the parsley. Cheese is not grated over any pasta with fish in it in Italy (nor indeed where garlic is the predominant ingredient, either) and the rule holds good. You need add nothing. It’s perfect already.

Additional Information

This recipe from HOW TO EAT has been adapted for online purposes.

This recipe from HOW TO EAT has been adapted for online purposes.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • Sorry, but it’s my favourite pasta dish and I get very specific.... please, please do not use vermouth!!! White wine, only dry white wine!! And I suggest keeping some water before you drain you pasta, it makes all the difference! Trust me! Just pour your spaghetti half cooked into the clams and keep adding water, slowly, and stir until fully cooked. You will have the creamiest sauce. We call it “risottare la pasta” because it is the risotto technique. Love from Rome

    Posted by Catemat on 17th May 2020
  • This is my absolute favorite meal. I make it at least once a week, sometimes more. Like you I make it with Linguine instead of Spaghetti (I never eat Spaghetti because I don't like the mouth feel of it ... my Italian grandparents are rolling in their graves). I make it almost the same way that you do only I use 4 times the garlic and instead of wine or vermouth I grate some frozen lemon over it just before plating for the acidity.

    Posted by DonnaDNYC on 6th October 2018
Show more comments