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4.99 from 75 votes

Linguine with Canned Clams

Linguine with white clam sauce made from canned clams, garlic, and parsley and topped with homemade toasted garlic breadcrumbs.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


For the seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)

  • 5 slices day old bread crust removed (or 1 cup store-bought plain breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley minced

For the canned clam sauce

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic sliced
  • 5 tinned anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 10-ounce cans baby clams see notes below
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter cubed
  • 2 cups reserved pasta water might not need all of it


For the seasoned breadcrumbs

  • Pulse 5 slices of day-old bread in a food processor along with the garlic, parsley, salt, and olive oil.
  • Heat a large pan to medium and add all of the breadcrumb ingredients to the pan. Stir frequently and cook until the breadcrumbs turn golden (about 5-7 minutes).

For the canned clam sauce

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Separate the canned baby clams from their juice, reserving both.
  • Heat a large pan to medium-low heat and add the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and anchovies.  Cook until the garlic is golden and the anchovies dissolve (about 3 minutes). 
  • Meanwhile, begin cooking the linguine until 1 minute less than al dente.
  • Add the hot red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the white wine and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the wine for 2-3 minutes or until it slightly reduces then add all of the reserved clam juice.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the baby clams to the pan. Mix well.
  • Add the linguine to the pan.  Toss or mix with tongs to emulsify the sauce. Cook the pasta with the sauce for 1 minute or until the pasta just reaches al dente. If more sauce is needed, add a couple of ounces of reserved pasta water at a time. The pasta should have plenty of sauce, so add enough pasta water.
  • Turn the heat off and add the butter and parsley. Mix well then taste test. Adjust salt and pepper levels if required. Serve in bowls along with the seasoned breadcrumbs on the side. Enjoy!



  • Three 10-ounce cans of baby clams will leave you with approximately 18 ounces of clam juice.  If needed, use extra store-bought clam juice or more pasta water to make up the difference.
  • No extra salt was added to the clam sauce due to the inherent saltiness of the clams, anchovies, and pasta water.  Adjust according to taste right before serving.
  • The extra reserved pasta water can loosen up the sauce if it dries out while waiting for guests to be seated.  Use a few ounces at a time.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 706kcal | Carbohydrates: 86.3g | Protein: 31.9g | Fat: 27.6g | Saturated Fat: 6.8g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 632mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 22mg