Recipe - clams cockles littlenecks pasta recipes

Linguine with Clams

By Peggye Marks on Aug 05, 2022

Manila Clams are an essential ingredient that adds an incredible depth of flavor to your dishes in seconds. It is the most likely dish in Italy.


4 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 - 4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon chili-pepper flakes
4 Pd NZ littleneck clams/cockles, cleaned (see Cook’s Note)
2 Cups white wine
500g (1.1pd) linguine or spaghetti (can substitute with our Tagliatelle egg pasta)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2/3 Cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Linguine with Clams


1. In a large pot over medium heat cook the garlic in olive oil until golden, about 1 minute. Add the chili-pepper flakes and sauté another 30 – 45 seconds. Add the clams and wine. Cover the pot and steam until the clams open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Strain, reserve the broth and set the clams aside to cool.

2. Boil the spaghetti in well-salted water until almost done. Because it will continue to cook when placed in the clam broth, remove from cooking around 2 minutes before al dente.

3. While pasta is cooking, remove about 3/4 of the cooked clams from their shells and place meat in a small bowl. Discard the empty shells.

4. Put the reserved clam broth in a large enough saucepan (that can also hold the pasta) over medium heat. When it starts to boil, add the lemon juice, the parsley and the reserved clam meat. Add the spaghetti, and mix gently with the juice and clams. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Sample the pasta to make sure is the texture you like and then remove from heat.

5. Scoop the pasta and sauce into serving bowls and top with remaining clams in their shells for presentation. Serve immediately.

To clean the clams / cockles, take a vegetable brush and scrub the shells under running water.  Place them in a bowl of cold water for at least 45 minutes or up to a few hours in the refrigerator. Drain and then mildly rinse the clams again before putting in pot to cook.