Looking for an easy weeknight dinner that is top notch? This angel hair with clams is my variation of linguine and clams and it couldn’t be simpler to make! This dish is made from ingredients that are generally hanging around your kitchen (except perhaps the canned clams) so it’s great when you don’t know what to make for dinner but you want something a little different. We use canned clams in juice to give you a delicious sauce that has a kick from the crushed red peppers and a nice lemony finish that marries perfectly with the pasta and clams.

This dish comes together Once the minimal prep is done, this dish comes together quickly so make sure to follow the timing instruction for cooking the angel hair. Try serving this with our grilled bread, they go together perfectly! After trying this recipe you are sure to keep a couple cans of clams in the pantry just for this recipe!

Clams with Angel Hair

Angel Hair with Clams

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8
Calories: 392kcal


  • 1 package angel hair
  • 4 oz bacon thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz shallots about 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 6.5 oz can minced clams with liquid
  • 2 6.5 oz cans chopped clams with liquid
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest see cooking notes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • reserved pasta water


  • In large pot over high heat, bring 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Keep to a simmer until ready to cook the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, in a very large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil then add the bacon. Cook for 3-4 minutes, just until the bacon starts to render its fat. Add the shallots, garlic, crushed red pepper, and thyme sprigs, and saute for 3 minutes. Once the shallots start to turn opaque, add wine, clams with juice, salt, and pepper. At this point, you want to start cooking your pasta. Add the angel hair to the boiling water and cook for 3½ minutes (the pasta should still be firm to the bite since it will cook another minute or two in the sauce).
  • While pasta is cooking, continue to let the clam sauce simmer, adding pasta once it has been 3½ minutes and 2-3 ounces of reserved pasta water to sauce and stir well for 60-90 seconds. The pasta will absorb most of the liquid but if it becomes too dry add a little more of the reserved pasta water. Test pasta for al dente texture and turn off heat. Add butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste, remove thyme sprigs, and enjoy!


For the wine you can use Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc.  Stay away from sweet wines like Riesling or Moscato because it’s flavor will be unpleasant in this dish.
If you would like to use dried thyme, simply replace fresh with 2/3 tsp dried.
For the lemon zest, I prefer to use a fine cheese grater to zest the lemon instead of a traditional zester for this recipe.  This allows the flavor to spread more evenly throughout the dish without having tough larger strands of lemon zest. 


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 327IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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