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This white clam sauce is heavenly: lots of garlic, olive oil, white wine, and clams tossed with al dente linguine for a delicious Italian dinner! Made with mostly pantry ingredients, this easy recipe is addictive, quick enough for a weeknight dinner, but elegant enough for company.

White clam sauce pasta on a plate

What Makes This Recipe So Good

My love affair with shellfish began in Italy many years ago, and to this day, I always order linguine alle vongole when I’m there. I’ve been making linguine alle vongole (“linguine with clams”) for years, and this recipe keeps all the delicious, rich flavor of the original, but makes it so much easier by using canned clams. What’s great is that this recipe uses mostly pantry staples, making it inexpensive, too!


  • Linguine – A simple ribbon pasta that is wider than spaghetti and rounder than fettuccine, linguine is perfect for soaking up the sauce and allowing the other flavors to shine.
  • Clams – Canned clams make this pasta super easy and inexpensive, yet still have a rich, salty, slightly fishy flavor.
  • Olive oil – A light, fresh olive oil is perfect for making a sauce that is savory but doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
  • White wine – A little white wine enhances the olive oil and the saltiness of the clams.

Chef’s Tips

  • In Southern Italy, tomatoes and fresh basil are often added to this dish. I’ve made mine without, but you can add those if you’d like!
  • To get your linguine perfectly al dente, make sure to heavily salt your water. Make sure to use plenty of water in the pot, too, so that the pasta has plenty of room to move around and expand.
Close-up of white clam sauce pasta on a plate

More Delicious Italian Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.97 from 62 votes

White Clam Sauce with Linguine

Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes
This delicious and savory pasta dish is made even easier with canned clams.
4 servings


  • Large pot
  • Large skillet


  • 1 12-ounce package linguine
  • ¼ cup olive oil good quality
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 8-ounce cans minced clams 24 ounces, juice drained and reserved
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped parsley plus more for garnish
  • crushed red pepper flakes for garnish, optional


  • Fill large pot with salted water. Add linguine and cook until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta water and set noodles aside.
  • In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until oil is hot and shimmering. Add garlic and sauté until just fragrant.
  • Add reserved liquid from cans of clams, white wine, and salt. Stir well and bring liquid to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes or until liquid has reduced approximately 50%.
  • Add minced clams and chopped parsley to skillet. Stir until clams are heated through, then reduce heat to low.
  • Add cooked linguine to skillet. Toss pasta in sauce over low heat until noodles have absorbed some (not all) sauce. Plate pasta and clam sauce, garnish with additional parsley and crushed red pepper flakes if desired, and serve immediately.
  • Optional Variation: In Southern Italy, tomatoes and fresh basil are often added to this dish.
  • Tips for cooking pasta al dente: Make sure to heavily salt your water. Use plenty of water in the pot, so that the pasta has plenty of room to move around and expand.
  • Make it Keto/Low Carb: Use a pasta alternative, like palmini noodles.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1serving, with pastaCalories: 571calProtein: 22gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1656mgPotassium: 286mgTotal Carbs: 75gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gNet Carbs: 72gVitamin A: 632IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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    1. We haven’t tried it, but in theory, you can replace the 1 cup dry white wine with ½ cup white wine vinegar and ½ cup water or seafood stock. It’s important to dilute the white wine vinegar since it’s so acidic.

    1. I wouldn’t – this is more of a savory dish and the vanilla could throw off the flavors.

  1. 1 tsp is Too much salt. I would add a pinch while cooking the liquid down then adjust as needed at the end🦯and needed another Clive or two of garlic🫢 otherwise pretty good3 stars

  2. Great recipe.. one recommendation is to cook the fettuccine in clam juice, instead of water, and it worked perfectly with this recipe. thank you for sharing!5 stars

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