Linguine with Clams and Capers

Linguine with clams is a classic and easy to make pasta dish. Made with fresh clams, shallots, white wine and capers it is a perfect weekday meal and is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Whenever I get ahold of fresh clams this is the first dish I want to make. This is one of those “I can’t be bothered to cook” meals that are great for the family and friends or even a date night. It is ready in less than 30 minutes and doesn’t take a whole lot of work, however the end result is fantastic. If you don’t have fresh clams, have no fear, you can still make this tasty dish.

In this recipe

There really isn’t a lot in this recipe which makes it wonderful. This allows for the clams to shine as well as making it an easy go to recipe.

Clams: you will want to get fresh clams like little neck or manila. You can use canned clams as well see below for additional information.

White wine: a dry white wine such as a pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc is great with clams. Make sure to choose a wine that you like to drink. You can use chicken broth if you don’t want to cook with wine.

Capers: will add an additional briny flavor to the dish with compliments the clams very nicely.

Ingredients for linguine with clams on a wooden cutting board
  • Save

Prepping the clams

Once you get the clams home you want to put them in some cold lightly salted water. This will help them expel any sand that might still be in them. You can do this before getting everything else ready and they will be good to go once it is time to cook. Most commercial clams will already be scrubbed for you. You want to make sure that all of the clams are closed before cooking. Tap the shells and if they close you are good. Discard any clams that stay open.

Heating olive oil and shallots in a pan
  • Save
Cooking clams in white wine
  • Save
Opened clams in a pan
  • Save
Cooked linguine with clams in a pan
  • Save

Cooking linguine with clams

Once the clams have been added to the pan you will need to cover them and let the steam do its job. This will only take about 3-5 minutes. Once that has happened you want to remove any clams that have not opened. They will make you sick if you try and open them to eat. However, if you are going to use canned clams then you don’t need to cook them, just add them in at the end. You will want 2-6.5-ounce cans and save the water from one of the cans to add to the wine to add additional flavor.

A white and gray bowl with linguine with clams
  • Save

Cooking just before al dente

One of the things that you will want to make sure you do is to not cook the pasta completely before adding it to the pan. The pasta will be finished when you add it to the clams and toss it. If you cook it completely you will run the risk of causing the pasta to become gummy and soft. The easiest way to do this is to cook it for 1-2 minutes less than what the package instructs. It is also important to not rinse the pasta so that the sauce clings to it.

A gray and white bowl with linguine pasta with clams and a bottle of wine
  • Save

Looking for other seafood recipes?

A gray and white bowl with linguine pasta with clams and a bottle of wine
  • Save

Linguine with Clams and Capers

Fresh clams cooked in a white wine and caper sauce tossed in linguine.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings5
Calories 698 kcal


  • Sauté pan
  • Pot
  • Colander


  • 2 pounds clams
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup shallots chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup butter unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt


  • In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the al dente directions. Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water, drain using a colander, but do not rinse the pasta.
  • While the water is boiling add the olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the wine, capers, parsley, pepper flakes, pepper, and clams, reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the clam open up, and discard any unopened clams.
  • Add the pasta to clams and gently toss. Add ¼ cup of the pasta water and toss until all of the pasta is coated. Add the butter. Once melted remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and lemon zest and toss for a final time.
  • Garish with additional parsley


Serving: 1servingCalories: 698kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 21gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 322mgPotassium: 487mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1080IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword 30 min meals, Clams, Linguine, Weekday Meals
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Linguine with clams Pinterest pin
  • Save
  • Save

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Scroll to Top