Clam sauce--red or white?

lpinkmountainAugust 14, 2014

Which is more traditional for spaghetti with clam sauce, a red or white sauce? I have a jar of clams I want to use up. Also, which is better? Any T&T recipes? Also thinking about maybe adding shrimp, good idea or gilding the lily?

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White sauce.

This is the one I've been using for years. Hubby loves it.

From PegWV - Clam Sauce

It's really something I make up as I go along.

These are the basic ingredients

2 cans of chopped clams,I like Doxee 6 1/2 oz.
2 cloves of garlic, or garlic powder
1/2 cup onions chopped fine
olive oil, sometimes I use butter,about 2 tablespoons of either
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
pepper to taste/I don't add salt because the clams have some

Put the oil or butter in a saucepan, add the onions and garlic
Cook the onions a bit first if using garlic powder
Add the flour when onions have softened, cook for a minute or 2
add the clams juice and all and the oregano
Here where I sometimes add some chopped tomato, or some chopped green pepper and/ or some olives. You could also add some parmesan cheese
Only needs to cook for a couple minutes
Really it's good without adding any extras.
Serve over pasta.
This is plenty for the 2 of us when I make it for company I just add more cans of clams and adjust the other stuff.

Hope this makes sense, I never wrote it out before.

These are two from my "to try" file:

Try this with clams over linguine

White Wine Mushroom Cream Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced
1 clove shallot, minced
2 Tbsp Butter
1 package sliced mushrooms
¼ to ½ cup dry white wine
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped fresh parsley (optional, but it does add a nice fresh taste and it looks so pretty)

Saute minced garlic and/or shallot in butter over low/medium heat for 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms (whatever amount you like - I used one package from Trader Joe’s). Sautee over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms change color. You can’t really overcook them - it just depends on how you like your mushrooms. Remember to keep the heat low enough not to burn the garlic and shallot.

Add ¼ cup to ½ cup white wine (I didn’t measure it). Let it reduce for 5 to 10 minutes, or until there’s just a few tablespoons of liquid left in the pan. Turn off heat. Stir in ½ cup heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chopped fresh parsley and serve over noodles.

Linguini with clam sauce - Rachel Ray

1 pound linguini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 4 turns of the pan
6 fillets flat anchovies, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine, 2 turns of pan
1 (15-ounce) can whole baby clams, with their juice
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the linguini and cook to an extra chewy al dente, 7 minutes or so. The linguini will continue to cook in sauce, later.
To a large skillet heated over medium heat, add oil, anchovies, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Cook together until anchovies melt into oil and break up completely. Add wine to the pan and give the pan a shake. Add clams and their juice. Drain pasta and add it to the clam sauce. Toss and coat the pasta in sauce with clams until the pasta absorbs the flavor and juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt, add parsley and serve.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:34AM
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Nummy, thanks!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:00PM
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What I make is similar to RR's recipe, but I frequently use clam juice instead of (or in addition to) white wine, and I usually thicken the clam juice with a roux. Also, I use fewer anchovies, to taste, and it doesn't need salt because the anchovies are salty. I also find that sauces with wine need a lot less salt, if any.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:33PM
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"---Which is more traditional ----"

That is difficult to say.

More popular? More delicious?


You can't taste the clams much in a red sauce.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:58PM
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. . . and that would be a bad thing because . . . ? :)

What can I serve with it also? Bread is out, I have to pace myself when it comes to carbs. I'm thinking maybe salad with fresh toms and some fried zucchini.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Clam sauce can be made in the time it takes to cook the linguini and it's delicious.

For two people:

Briefly cook 4 minced garlic cloves in 4 tablesoons of olive oil,

Add finely chopped parsley or basil. Cook briefly.

Add one can of chopped clams, including the juice.

Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes and serve over linguini.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:07PM
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I don't know which is more traditional, I like them both.

I love this recipe with white clam sauce. Recipe was shared by Cindy NY many years ago.

I made a few adjustments.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Source: Cindy Miller

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

2 T butter
2 T olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
1 tsp flour
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup white wine
Oregano to taste
1/4 tsp Tabasco, or dash ground red pepper
3 doz clams, minced and any juice*

Fresh grated parmesan
8 oz linguine, cooked

Saute onion and garlic in butter and oil until soft but not brown.
Stir in flour until smooth. Add remaining sauce ingredients and
clams and cook, do not boil, for 15 minutes. Serve over linguine,
top with parmesan, if desired.

*You can prepare the garlic wine sauce, add whole clams (well
scrubbed), cover and steam the clams while the sauce is cooking,
and serve over pasta in the shells. This batch we had was pretty
gritty, so we steamed and removed the clams from the shells before
adding to the sauce. I also did not mince them, since they were
pretty small to begin with.

. My Changes:

I use fresh clams. 2 to 3 pounds

1 to 2 tablespoons flour (depends on how much sauce you want)

1/2 cup white wine
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried oregano.

Note: Althought the sauce can be prepared a little a head of time,
add fresh clams (in shell) 2 minutes before pasta is finished
cooking. Serve immediately..

Here are my changes.

I sauté the shallots and the garlic and then I add a couple of
tablespoons of flour. Cook for a few minutes and then add a splash
of white wine and at least a cup of chicken broth. Homemade or
canned, either works. When the sauce thickens I add some dried
oregano and pinch of cayenne pepper. Salt and Pepper.

I have only made this with fresh clams and I don't add them to the
pan until the pasta is just about cooked. They only take a few
minutes to open. Toss with fresh chopped parsley and fresh
grated parmesan cheese.

I never would have thought that parmesan cheese would work with
these, but it is wonderful with the clams.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Looks like I am going to have to get some good bread to sop up all that yummy sauce!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Just found out my SO "does not like clams." So these recipes will have to wait until I am back at my solitary apartment. I'm taking the clams back with me. Something to look forward to! Meanwhile I am packing up my house. Very sad, but we've been eating well. Last night it was kale salad and tonight the "clean out the fridge" pasta with garbanzos was excellent. Also had pepper, celery, mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash, spinach and onion. Tomato sauce with bacon and goat cheese for flavor. Yummo! Also made a good gluten free pizza, with lots of sauteed veggies on top. I love this time of year with all the fresh veggies and fruits!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:47PM
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This only works over pasta. I typically use linguine but you can use about anything you want except for the skinny stuff like angle hair.

You'll need a large skillet or saute pan (12+ inches).

I don't have a recipe nor frequent access to fresh clams, so I use canned clams - 4-5 small (tuna sized) cans per pound of pasta. Separate the clams from the juice.

Get the pasta water boiling. While that's going get your garlic chopped up.

Garlic - as much as you want. I probably use 7-9 good sized gloves. Use more, use less whatever you like. Chop up the garlic and saute in a little olive oil while the pasta starts cooking. Once the garlic reaches the desired doneness, add the clam juice and let it go over medium heat. I usually add a squirt of sriracha at this point but that's up to you.

You want to under cook the pasta by about 1 minute or very al dente. Drain pasta and dump it into the pan with the clam juice and garlic. Turn the heat up to medium high/high The idea is that the pasta continues to absorb the clam juice (and flavor) while thickening the sauce. You'll need to add some additional liquid. It can be clam juice, white white, chicken stock, or even some of the water you cooke the pasta in. Just continue to cook and/or add liquid until the pasta is done and the sauce is to your liking.

At this point, toss in clams (they're already cooked and just need to be warmed). A little parsley will make things look pretty. Some parm is nice too.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:50PM
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John that recipe sounds like a lot of fun, thanks for sharing it! SO loves garlic, seems like that would compensate!! ;)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 10:44AM
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