Spaghetti with Clams and Green Olives

Brine on with this twist on a classic pasta
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Spaghetti with Clams and Green Olives
Photo: Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table

This classic combination (clams + pasta) is traditionally made with linguine, but spaghetti works just as well. When the clams open up and release their juices, a sweet-and-savory sauce is made when combined with white wine, garlic and crushed red pepper. Green olives give the dish an extra shot of brininess.

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Spaghetti with Clams and Green Olives

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups dry white wine

4 pounds clams, scrubbed clean

1 pound spaghetti or linguine

2 cups green olives (such as Cerignola or Castelvetrano), pitted and roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley

Zest of 1 lemon


1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute until just fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the wine has reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the clams; cover and cook until the clams just begin to open up, 8 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of its cooking liquid.

3. Add the pasta and olives to the clams and toss until the pasta is well coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add a ¼ cup of the cooking liquid if the sauce looks dry. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest before serving.

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