Pasta with Fresh Cape Cod Clam Sauce

Pasta with Clam Sauce


  • 1 dozen Little Neck clams
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Bottled clam juice
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 box of spaghetti or linguini


  1. Purchase (or dig!) 1 dozen Little Neck clams. Be sure all the shelves are closed tight and that the shells are not broken or cracked. Open clams should never be purchased! Scrub the shells well with cold water; it is important to do this because you will use some of the water from steaming the clams as a sauce base and you do not want any sand or grit in the water when you boil the clams open. 
  2. Cook the spaghetti or linguini until it is slightly al dente. While the spaghetti cooks, follow the steps below.
  3. Put the clams in a pan and cover completely with water. Bring the water to a boil until the clams open. While this is happening, chop up the garlic finely and sauté quickly in olive oil. Do not allow the garlic to burn or it will taste bitter! Turn off the heat. When the clams have opened, remove them from the water (but not out of the shells!) and put in a dish. Pour the clammy water into the sautéed garlic pan. Turn the heat on low to medium.
  4. Slowly add the flour until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring slowly. If you need more liquid, use the bottled clam juice. When the sauce is the consistency of a creamy soup, completely cover the hot pasta with good dollops of the sauce. Place the cooked clams on top of the pasta: ladle some of the clam sauce in each shell and sprinkle it all with freshly chopped parsley or basil.
  5. Serves two. Easy to double or triple; just be sure there are about six clams per person.

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