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Spaghetti with Spicy White Fresh Clam Sauce

Apr 22, 2015 04:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Rhea’s Rundown

This Italian classic is a favorite of mine. I loved this meal growing up and now enjoy how easy it is to make as an adult. A few quality ingredients go a long way in this straightforward dish. Shallots, garlic, white wine, and a little butter create a delicious, light base. The hot sauce imparts a bright, subtle heat complimented by fresh parsley throughout. This recipe recommends the smallest clams available, typically littlenecks. If you use larger clams be sure to allow for a few extra minutes of cooking time. Satisfying and light all at the same time, this dish is comfort at its best. (Especially with a glass of white wine.)

Ingredients – Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds little neck clams, scrubbed
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce


1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, stir in clams and wine, cover, and simmer, shaking pan occasionally, until clams begin to open, about 6 minutes. Uncover skillet and continue to simmer until all clams have opened (discard any that do not open), about 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Add clam sauce and toss to coat. Add butter, parsley, and hot sauce, stirring constantly until butter is thoroughly melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency. Serve.

“Spaghetti with Spicy White Fresh Clam Sauce.” America’s Test Kitchen: The Best Simple Recipes. Boston Common Press Limited Partnership. 2013. Print.

Rhea Torreon
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