Dinner Party Must: Clam Pasta

Recent experience has taught me that when planning a small dinner party, sometimes simplicity is key.  Simplicity doesn’t have to mean tasteless, though.  My mother-in-law taught me this recipe for clam pasta that is easy yet anything but boring when it comes to flavor.  The best part?  It easily serves a 4-6 people without breaking the bank or taking up all your time.  Serve it with a green salad and some classic garlic bread, and you’re good to go!

Clam Pasta


1 head garlic, finely chopped

2 cans chopped clams

1 box whole wheat spaghetti

2 cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs

1 cup white wine

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Olive oil

Kosher salt


  1. Finely mince the entire head of garlic.
  2. Open clams and drain the juice into a separate bowl for later use.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil for pasta.  When water boils, cook pasta according to box directions.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large enamel pot or coated skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Use enough oil to coat the bottom of your pot.
  5. Saute garlic.  Be careful not to over-brown.
  6. Turn heat on high and add diced tomatoes, white wine, and clam juice.  Add red pepper flakes to taste.  Bring sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Cook sauce down until it is slightly thicker than when you started.  This is not meant to be a thick sauce.  It is only meant to lightly coat the pasta.
  7. When pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pot.  Add the clam sauce and clams.  Toss to coat.


*You can’t have too much garlic in this recipe, so don’t be alarmed by the amount.

*If your sauce is done well before the pasta, lower the heat and let simmer until pasta is ready.

*Try very hard not to let the pasta be done before the sauce.  Pasta soaks up the sauce best right after it is drained.

*Once cooked, the pasta dish comes together very quickly, so it is best to have all your other sides complete before starting the pasta so it can be served hot.


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