Easy and Healthy Linguine with Clam Sauce

I love linguine with clam sauce.  When I was on the swim team in high school, we would go to The Old Spaghetti Factory before big meets.  Only now do I question whether I really needed to carb load for my 50 and 100 freestyle events, haha!  My dish of choice was their pasta with white clam sauce…creamy, buttery and definitely carb-y 🙂  I haven’t had that dish in many years, but my love for pasta with seafood has never really gone away.  This is a dish that satisfies that craving, but doesn’t have all the cream and butter that a typical white clam sauce has…perfect for a spring evening with a glass of chilled white wine!

healthy linguine with clamsFirst, saute a minced shallot in some olive oil until softened.  I love how the shallot has a toned down onion flavor, there is very little sharpness to it.  Add one minced garlic clove, and saute for about one minute.IMG_7371Next, drain and reserve the liquid from three cans of chopped clams.  You will need 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid for the sauce.

IMG_7373Add the chopped clams and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add the reserved liquid, white wine or pasta water, pinch of red pepper flakes, and lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer and cook for another 3 minutes.  If you have little ones, you can omit the red pepper flakes and add some at the end to your own plate 🙂


Add the cooked al dente pasta to the pan and toss with the sauce.  Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan on the top and some chopped parsley if desired.  One of my readers commented that the chicken pot pie recipe I posted two weeks ago was “easy fancy”.  I really like that phrase as those are my favorite kinds of recipes…ones that looked like they took a lot of time to make, but are actually deceptively easy 🙂  I would classify this pasta as an easy, fancy dinner…perfect for weekends, but also very do-able on a weeknight as it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare!

healthy linguine with clams

Healthy Linguine with Clam Sauce

Serves 4

slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats, who reprinted with permission from White Jacket Required

8 oz al dente linguine or spaghetti

1 shallot, minced

1 T olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

3 cans chopped clams (6.5 oz each), drained and liquid reserved

1/2 cup reserved clam liquid

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup white wine or reserved pasta water

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions.

Saute minced shallot in olive oil over medium heat until softened.  Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add drained clams and cook for 3 minutes.  Add reserved clam liquid, lemon juice, and white wine (or pasta water).  Add red pepper flakes to taste.  Bring liquid to a simmer and then cook for another 3 minutes.  Add al dente pasta to the pan and toss with the sauce.  Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top, and chopped parsley if desired.

In other news, we’ve had quite a bit of sickness in our house lately.  I was sick two weeks ago, followed by my son, and then my daughter.  Then my husband came home with a different cold, our son got a new cold…you get the drift.  Daycare, school, both of our work with sick kids…it’s a bit of a doozy in terms of bringing home germs.  I wash my hands non-stop at work and clean all my instruments meticulously, but still you can’t help the air you breathe!  It’s amounted to a lot less sleep for this mama, and I’m starting to feel the effects.  Thankfully, we are all recovered, and hopefully will stay healthy for a while!  We’re getting back into fun activities, including trips to the zoo and aquarium 🙂  Hope you are having a great week!


What sport did you play in high school?  

I was a swimmer, and was also on the bowling team 🙂  Incidentally, my husband was also on the bowling team in his high school!  We don’t go bowling nearly enough together…will have to make that happen soon.  

What do you crave when you’re feeling sick?

I crave chicken noodle soup and homemade miso soup!


14 thoughts on “Easy and Healthy Linguine with Clam Sauce

  1. I can totally relate to your fondness for carb-y dishes ;). I CANNOT live without my bread, rice, noodles…! Eeks, don’t even want to think about it! Boy, I haven’t been to Old Spaghetti Factory in a very very long time…I think the last time was when I just got married. I used to always order their spaghetti bolognese. I prefer red over white sauce, although I don’t mind stealing a bite or two of Tim’s Fettucine Alfredo ;). I want to make this for Tim soon and see if he misses the cream. I’m sure he will say yes, but he’s really been appreciating lightened-up versions as of late so I’m sure he will love it!
    Hehe..I wish I could’ve seen the look on your face when that sickly boy came up to you to shake hands ;). I’m so glad you guys are feeling much better now! Aww…love that picture! I actually didn’t play any sports in high school. I was an orch dork and carried around my violin case everywhere. I def crave anything that my mommy makes me.
    Hope you have a blessed day, my beautiful friend! ttys!!

    • I was an orch dork too, haha!! I was never good at the violin…my parents used to ask me to practice at school 🙂 You still play, right?

      I usually like red sauces over white sauces too, but for some reason, clam sauce appeals to me! Patrick recently got diagnosed with food allergies to shrimp, clams, and scallops, so I probably won’t be cooking with those very frequently…will have to eat it when we’re out at a restaurant 🙂

      Hope you’re having a great and not too stressful week, Min! xoxo

      • Hehe..my parents told me the same thing in the beginning, but I refused to listen. I found torturing them quite entertaining hehe. Yup, I still play. It’s quite therapeutic for me. Eeks..food allergies are no fun! So Patrick didn’t know this before or did he just develop it? Tim’s allergic to melons…so sad. Well, that just means more for me since I’m a watermelon and cantaloupe killer hehe.
        I can’t believe it’s Thursday already!! There are a lot of church activities this weekend so Tim and I aren’t going down to Houston. Nice lil’ break, I guess…
        Hope you’re having a wonderful week! ttys!! FIGHTING!

      • Yes, we just found out randomly that he is allergic to those things! He thought maybe he was allergic to peanuts, because he eats peanut butter everyday, but that was negative! Did you have a nice weekend? How is your father in law doing?

  2. Oh, man. So glad you guys are feeling better! We had a bout of the flu and then colds, also. So far we’re feeling pretty good now! Whew!

    I’ve never had linguine with clam sauce before. It looks interesting and yummy!

    • Glad you guys are feeling better now!! The flu is the worst. Do you find yourself just waiting for the other kids to get sick when one of them does? I felt so bad for our son…the nasal congestion was so bad that he was having trouble nursing, and the poor guy would get so frustrated! I was getting frustrated too, haha 🙂 Hoping you all stay healthy!

  3. We used to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory in high school — is it a high school thing? 🙂 Good times, though. Loved that place.

    Sorry to hear your family was sick. I’ve often wondered if pediatricians have super immune systems to ward off all the kid-germs they come into contact with (and we all know that kid-germs are the super-duper ones!). My crew is now fending off those colds we always get in the spring when the temps rocket up to the 70s and then drop to the 30s. I make chicken noodle soup for those sick days, although when I was growing up, I always had tea and toast.

    • Really? Yes, it must be a high school thing. Occasionally, I crave their pasta and their mud pie (so good!) Maybe when my daughter gets older, we will go there more often, as long as it’s still in business 🙂

      I used to get sick all the time in residency, but I think my immune system has been beefed up since then, and I rarely get colds now! I hope your kids get better quickly…I bet they appreciate the chicken noodle soup with those chilly temps. I remember those temperature shifts in the spring time…would go jogging on the lake one day and the next be back to wearing my winter coat 🙂 Hope it gets warm soon and those beautiful flowers start blooming all around the city!

  4. I so remember the Old Spaghetti Factory and your recipe brings back those memories. This dish was one of my favourites to order. Also, this may be weird, but thank you for sharing your sick house situation because it shares a part of the real world. We all get sick. I am finding that many blogs present an ideal world and yours is so authentic. I can relate to picking up all kinds of bugs being an elementary school teacher. Let’s say that I have seen by share of runny noses. I also live in the Northern part of the world and if you can imagine there is still snow on the ground where I live in the middle of April! I am so missing some natural sunshine and Vitamin D. My doctor has put me on 2000 units a day just to make up for what is lacking naturally and I have only had a minor cold so far this year. I have my fingers crossed. Anyway, so love following your blog because of the commentary and what you share! Take Care, Thea

    • Oh yes, I bet you saw a lot of runny noses and viruses when you were a teacher! You must have a great immune system. We are all finally healthy again (thank goodness)…hope you stay healthy and that you get more natural sunshine soon! Thank you for your kind words, Thea…I always look forward to your comments 🙂

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