Clam Pasta

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Clam Pasta 

Butter Clams

Clam Pasta

We recently had the opportunity to stay with some friends at their house in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast.  It was a perfect 4th of July weekend for many reasons, one in particular: we were introduced to clamming.  Surprisingly, though I grew up in the Puget Sound, I have never been clamming.  {And, to be exact, I really haven’t gone yet because I was on the sidelines with our newborn baby.}  But my husband, and even our 2 1/2-year old son for a short stint, got to experience wading through the mud bog feeling for clams with his feet.

Though I didn’t get to partake in clamming this time, I know that there will be a next time.  And fortunately, I did get to enjoy the clam spaghetti dinner that our friend Ben made that night.  We enjoyed it so much that my husband went clamming again the next day so that we could bring clams home with us.  The day we got back from the coast we made the clam pasta again.  The butter clams are chewy but when chopped into small pieces and mixed with turkey sausage and vegetables, you don’t even notice them because there are so many other flavors and textures in the dish.

Of course, you can still make this pasta dish with store-bought clams but if you do have the opportunity to go clamming, you’ll enjoy your meal even more.  It is an inexpensive family activity which provides a great excuse for a beach {or mud bog} walk.  

Clam Pasta
Recipe type: Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
This flavorful and colorful spaghetti dish is loaded with chopped butter clams, turkey sausage and vegetables.
  • 3-4 slices bacon or turkey bacon
  • 1-2 chicken or turkey kielbasa sausages
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups clam juice or white wine
  • 10-20 butter clams, steamed and chopped
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles
Preparing the Clams
  1. Soak the clams in salt water for at least an hour to remove the sand.
  2. Discard any clams that are open or that won't close when lightly tapped.
  3. Bring water to boil in a double boiler and place the clams in the top.
  4. Steam the clams until the shells open.
  5. Remove the meat and cut each piece in half lengthwise and take out the guts.
  6. Chop the remaining clam meat into chunks.
Clam Pasta
  1. Cook the bacon until it is crispy.
  2. Chop it into bits and set it aside.
  3. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the directions on the package.
  4. Cut the turkey sausage into chunks.
  5. Lightly coat a pan with olive oil and saute the chopped vegetables for several minutes or until they are tender.
  6. Add the clam juice {or white wine}, chunks of turkey sausage and the chopped clams and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Toss with Parmesan cheese, feta cheese and bacon bits.
  8. Serve the clam pasta sauce over the cooked whole wheat noodles.


Butter Clams

Click here to view a guide for selecting seafood.

Here’s another great resource for safe practices when handling and cooking shellfish.

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