Saturday, November 3, 2012

Penne with Herbed Clam Sauce

This is a recipe I randomly came across last week in this thread.  I've never cooked with clams and the one time I had clams with pasta, I didn't like it, but this recipe looked interesting and easy to make so I decided to give it a whirl!  Happily, it turned out quite well and we both enjoyed how well the flavors of clam, shallot, white wine, thyme, and garlic melded together, especially for a sauce that doesn't cook long.  My husband actually said it was one of his favorite things that I've made.  It's also not too bad for you and ingredients that are easy to keep on hand.  I think it will become a regular dinner here!

Quick Note:  The original recipe calls for linguine, but I chose penne because when I serve a sauce that has small pieces in it with long pasta, the pieces inevitably all end up in the bottom of the bowl after the pasta is gone!  Also, I didn't have fresh herbs, but I'm sure it would be yummier (and prettier!) with them.

Sorry this is so very ugly- I promise that it tastes good and the fresh herbs would brighten it up!

Penne with Herbed Clam Sauce

2 T butter
1 large shallot, chopped finely (about 1/2 C)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 T flour
8 oz clam juice (1 bottle)
1/2 C white wine
10 oz can whole baby clams, undrained
2 t minced fresh thyme or 3/4 t dried thyme
1/4 C minced fresh parsley or 2 t dried parsley
3/4 t salt (or to taste)
1/2 t pepper
1/2 lb dried penne pasta

In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add shallot and garlic and saute until softened and golden, about 5 minutes.  Add flour and stir until incorporated.  Stir in the clam juice, a small amount at a time, making sure the sauce is smooth between each addition.  Add wine, clams, herbs, salt, and pepper.  Simmer, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Toss with penne.  Serve pasta with salad and fresh fruit.

Yield: 4 servings


  1. This isn't ugly! Clams kind of scare me but my Mom makes something similar to this that is just delicious! I usually pick out the pieces of clams though. I like the flavor just not the texture and look of the actual clam.

    1. Why do clams scare you? I'll bet you'd like this made without the clams, but with extra clam juice instead, and tossed with some roasted broccoli. Yum!