Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spaghetti with "White" Clam Sauce

This is a rerun from my old blog, but I’ve had several requests for it so I posted it today. This pasta dish is always a best seller at Italian restaurants, but very few people try to make it at home. As you’ll see in the video, the sauce only takes about 10 minutes to put together. By then, your pasta will be cooked and you’ll be ready to enjoy this classic dish.

A few VERY important points before we start. Have all your ingredients measured and ready to go. Do NOT drain the clams you’re using. When you separate your egg yolk make sure there is no white. And finally, when the cream mixture come to a simmer turn it off, and leave it off!

By the way, if you are about to post an “Italians NEVER put cheese in their seafood pasta dishes!” comment…save it. I’m half Italian and I love a nice grating of Parmigiano Reggiano on this dish. Remember, we make the rules! Except, of course, for Ranch dressing on Buffalo-style chicken wings instead of blue cheese dressing; then you’re just insane!

1 pound spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini
2 jars baby clams with juice (you’ll need about 2 cups total, juice and clams – this is probably 4 or 5 cans from the supermarket, if you can’t find the ones in the jar I’m using)
1 pint heavy cream
3 cloves garlic
1-2 anchovy fillet
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated parmesan
basil to garnish
crushed croutons to garnish
salt to taste


Anonymous said...

This is fabulous! I had seconds, and hubby begged for thirds. Thanks so much for sharing. Reminds of what grandma used to make when I was a kid. I'm looking forward to serving this next time I have guests for dinner.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John,

This might be an odd question but; do you mean a single lb of uncooked pasta or cooked? I'm assuming uncooked but I thought I'd ask just in case. Thanks!


Chef John said...


Unknown said...

mai la panna con il pesce!!!!
Apprezzo la buona volontà.

Chef John said...

Hey, I'll put cream in if I want... you're not the boss of my clams!

Unknown said...

Of Course, My respect, but isn't italian recipe or italian food!
In Italy, and i'm napolitan, we don't use cream with clams, never!!!!

Chef John said...

it is what it is. :)
...and it tastes good.

Unknown said...

I belive that the taste is good but don't use "Italian Food" label! The italian food is another way! Are fresh little tomatoes del piennolo from vesuvio, are fresh clams from the neapolitan gulf, is garlic from Calabria, is fresh parsley, is extra virgin olive oil from Cilento, is a philosophy at table.
If you want i write the original recipe.....

Chef John said...

I'm Italian and I made it, so it is Italian food.

Also, growing up in America (where this blog and I are based) every Italian restaurant served pasta with clam sauce in two ways. White with cream and red with tomato.

Bye the way, you may be new to the blog, so you have read my many posts regarding the fact these these ethnic recipes are NOT authentic and not trying to be.

But, to an American these are Italian recipes, and categorized as such. Thanks!

btw, i would love the recipe.

Unknown said...

Ok Chef John,
I want respect for my traditions and my native cuisine. If restaurants Americans cook spaghetti with clams and cream is not my business.
But you do not have to write that recipes are Italian.
The Italian cuisine has a very ancient history made of ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, legumes, fresh vegetables, spices, cheeses and wines.
Please read and learn it:
it'is the italian bible cuisine!


Chef John said...

You are missing my point. I have the utmost respect for all authentic cuisines. This blog's categories are by style of cooking. So that recipe is there so people (Americans mostly) can find recipes that want to try.

The category says, "Italian Cuisine" not "Authentic, Classic Italian Cuisine" Almost any pasta dish I do I tag on that category whether its made in Italy or not. Because Americans associate pasta with Italian cuisine.

Besides. The joy of writing a blog is complete artistic freedom, even if others do not agree. In your honor I;m going to make a hot dog and chili linguine and put it in the Italian category! :P

Unknown said...

Chef John,
I do not forget your point of view, is you do not recognize my!
Indeed, in Italy are adopting the "Mark of Authenticity" for Italian recipes to distinguish those false than true. For example, now that pizza, is recognized in Europe under the brand S.T.G (special traditional guarantee)and have 8 specifications for its preparation:
Customers are advised.

Anonymous said...

Number 1, filoverde, you are being an ass. I'm sorry if you feel strongly that this is not an "Italian" dish. What you fail to understand is that most people around the planet consider pasta dishes Italian, and bickering on the internet is not going to get someone to stop calling it what they want. Sorry, dude, not going to happen.

Number 2, Chef John, my mother is allergic to shell fish. Is there a decent substitute for the clams? I'd very much like her to enjoy this recipe as well.

Chef John said...

Sure, diced chicken and chicken stock instead of clams and juice.

Anonymous said...

I have been making Spaghetti with white clam sauce since I was a teenager in the 1960s. I fell in love with it at "the Old Spaghetti factory" in San Francisco. -- I almost cried when they took it off the menu and so started making it myself. My old recipe used tons of butter - I find your recipe with NO butter lighter and very tasty. (Hubby had thirds) I am going to use this easier quicker delicious recipe from now on... Thanks Chef John! I did replace the basil with fresh flat leaf parsley because SAFEWAY wanted $4.00 for a bunch of wilted brown basil!
(to continue the rant... is Franco American spaghetti Italian?? ;-)

jjtoo said...

Hey Filo,

What makes your pretentious opinion so sacrosanct about what is an Italian recipe and what is not? Where are the rules governing this? and is your opinion true for all of Italy, or is Naples the only authority of what is Italian?

Fammi nu favore vaglio. Go sing a song and while you’re at it, leave the serious cooking to the real experts like chef John.

schllac said...

Who had that show "People are Funny", this would be a good one...LOL

Unknown said...

I think that it is WONDERFUL that we can disagree! I think that the right to disagree is a wonderful thing; just look at the interesting things we've learned from this discussion. If we all agreed........I wouldn't want to live there. Thanks for listening to my opinion!

Unknown said...

Trying to transport this dish for Christmas eve?! What makes best sense?!