30 minutes! That’s how long it takes to put this delicious one-pot recipe for Spaghetti with Clams in a white wine garlic sauce on your family’s table. When it comes to the end of a busy day and you’re faced with an empty dinner table, this recipe is awesome. It’s definitely one of those meals where the results exceed the effort.
For tiny kitchens, this clams and spaghetti recipe is an even bigger winner because the majority of the ingredients store quietly in your pantry until you’re ready to make it. There are very few dinners that I make that don’t require my precious refrigerator space and this just happens to be one of them. Plus, it takes only 30 minutes from start to finish, so it’s an excellent weeknight meal.
Making Spaghetti with Clams in a Tiny Kitchen
You might not think that you can cook up such a savory and filling meal with so little time and effort, but that’s what you get when you make this recipe. By cooking the spaghetti directly in the clam and white wine garlic sauce, you’re getting all those delicious flavors cooked into your pasta—making it much more flavorful than if you cooked the spaghetti separately. The starches also boil out of the spaghetti into your sauce giving it a thicker consistency that will stick to your noodles more readily. Plus, you save on stove-top space, water, and dishes.
Because this is one-pot recipe, so dishes are a breeze with only a cutting board, knife, medium pot, large spoon, forks and/or spoons, and a few bowls to clean up. I usually also throw in a pair of tongs when dishing up. I find it’s a lot easier to grab the spaghetti with the tongs and then spoon the clam sauce and clam meat over the spaghetti into your bowl. You want this to a be a juicy bowl of pasta with a lot of the sauce.
This recipe does not store well. We’re talking seafood and pasta here, so keep it around at your own risk. You can refrigerate leftovers to be eaten the next day, but don’t keep it for much longer than that.
Canned Clams or Fresh Clams
Can you make this recipe using fresh clams? Absolutely! My family originally made this recipe in two separate pots with freshly shucked clams and all the delicious fresh clam juice. It was really good, but a lot of extra work. I am not as fancy as that, I have significantly less time, and the price of fresh clams is not as kind as it was 20 years ago. But, if you’re still interested, convert this recipe to use fresh clams.
First of all, you’re going to want to work with medium-small clams like a Littleneck clams or Topneck Clams. Soak them in cold water for at least 20 minutes to get them release any sand. You’ll need about 36 to 48 clams to account get the equivalent amount needed for this recipe. I recommend going with 48 and setting a dozen aside to cook them in the shell for extra flare. Be sure to wash the outside of the shells thoroughly.
Shuck the clams over a bowl to catch all the clam juice and set the clam meat aside. Strain any rogue shell pieces from your juice and give your clam meat a rough chop before proceeding with the recipe as is. If you’re want to add some clams still in the shell, add them to the pot about 3 minutes after starting the spaghetti. These will take a little longer to cook and open than the raw clam meat. Before serving, remove and discard any shelled clams that have not opened.
Give this recipe for spaghetti with clams a shot and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to come back and give me your rating. If you have any questions or find other substitutions that are yummy, feel free add those in your comments! As always, if you like this recipe, please share it on social media so other people know about it too. Let’s eat!
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup onion (chopped fine)
- 8 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cans chopped clams (6.5 oz cans)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tsp clam bouillon (or vegetable bouillon)
- 1/2 tsp basil (fresh, chopped)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
- 10 oz spaghetti (dried)
- 1/4 cup parsley (fresh, chopped)
- Prepare your ingredients by finely chopping your onion, mincing the garlic, and chopping your fresh basil and parsley.
- In a medium pot, melt 4 tbsp of butter into 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add your onions and garlic to the butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onions begin to get translucent. About 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent your garlic from browning.
- Open your cans of clams and squeeze the juice into the pot. Set the clam meat aside for later.
- Stir in 2 tsp of clam or vegetable bouillon, 1 cup of dry white wine, 2 cups of water, and the spices—basil, oregano, and red pepper flake. Bring to a boil.
- Break your dried spaghetti in half and add directly to the clam broth. Stir immediately and separate any spaghetti noodles that try to stick together. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the spaghetti loose.
- Stir in the clam meat and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley.