"Linguine" with Clam Sauce

This recipe is so dear to me that I will be telling you how to make it entirely from memory. When I was growing up, there were a few go to meals my mom knew we (my three brothers and I) would devour. Pizza, of course. Hamburgers. Steak. (See? Always was a meat eater!) And then two pasta recipes. The first, pasta with ham and broccoli, we’re still working out (It’s hard to get an uncured ham steak that tastes just right!), but my favorite meal growing up was linguine with clam sauce.

I know! Not typical kids’ fare. But we’ve tried this out on our kids time and time again, and it truly works for all kids so far. We use spaghetti squash for the noodles, but for those unable to find it, a good alternative would be blanched zucchini strips. The sauce is essentially my own mother’s recipe with some minor changes as I evolved it, for this generation of dairy-free, grain-free brothers.

“Linguine” with Clam Sauce


1 medium spaghetti squash, halved
1/3 C light olive oil (or lard)
1 medium onion (not red), diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 C white wine (or apple juice)
2 14 oz cans whole baby clams, juice reserved (you could theoretically use whole clams in shell and clam juice, but the baby clams are easier and less expensive!)
2 Tbsp lard
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. ♥ Place squash halves cut side down on a lipped baking sheet, add a 1/4″ of water and roast for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (You can steam it in a microwave, but roasting it dries it slightly, allowing it to soak up the sauce in this recipe)
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat
  3. Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 6 minutes
  4. Add cayenne and stir to incorporate
  5. ♥ Pour in wine and juice from clams, increase heat to high
  6. Boil for about 10 minutes to reduce liquid, ♥ stirring frequently
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add clams, stir for five minutes
  8. ♥ Scoop hot “noodles” out of squash and into serving bowl, toss with lard and parsley
  9. ♥ Pour sauce on top, stir to combine and serve!

Surprisingly, the cayenne here is not overwhelming and our kids love the flavor. If you want it more or less spicy, change as you see fit.
Serves 4-6, depending on squash size and the appetite of whom you may be feeding. We suggest a salad or roasted asparagus (our recipe, “Nature’s Spears” can be found in Eat Like a Dinosaur) to round out the meal. As always, steps marked with a ♥ are for little hands to help!

I know what you’re thinking. No way my kids would ever eat clams! My mom thought the same thing, but once we tasted it, it became our comfort food. Give this a try and your kids might surprise you; they may even insist on licking the bowl clean!


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  • Celia

    Oh, this is perfect!  My late grandfather’s favorite meal was clam spaghetti. I’m on this one sometime over the next week or so. Thank you. (It’s also very close to the recipe my grandmother uses, save for the whole pasta thing.)

  • I am SO adding this to our meal plan next week. Sounds perfect and I hope my son likes it, too! 

  • Jennifer Logan

    Those plates are great!  Do you know where you got them from?

    •  http://paleoparents.com/start-here/our-fun-food-accessories/ 🙂

  • Katherine Kelley

    This looks great.  I can’t wait to try it.  I don’t miss pasta at all since spaghetti squash is so yummy, but I never thought about adapting this recipe!  Thanks for sharing.

  • Mmm… That’s a recipe *I* grew up with, too! I’ll have to try this out on my kids. I think my 15yo will like it, and my 10yo will hate it, but we’ll see!

    • I’ve always been surprised at the reaction of most kids to clam sauce. You’d think many would reject it because clams look so strange, but they do love it!

  • Diane

    Had to chuckle at the title of this post, I figured you’d be using spaghetti squash, and I can’t even begin to fathom how this will be as good as the real thing, but I’m going to reserve judgement and give it a try, because I seriously love (and MISS) this pasta dish 🙂

    • The squash is different of course, and it can’t replace linguine perfectly, but we do love this in this form so much!

  • MariaMuscarella

    Just so you know you’re not the only weirdo… Linguini with clam sauce was also MY favorite meal as a kid!  I haven’t had it in so long!!!  I’m definitely putting this on the next meal plan!

    • Hope you like it! I have three brothers and growing up my mom would make two pounds of pasta and then we’d all practically fist fight to get second helpings!

  • GiGiEatsCelebrities

    AHHH! You make me miss home!!! My dad and my favorite recipe that we make together is clam sauce and I put it on a LARGE bed of spaghetti squash! We sometimes put oysters and minced scallops into the mix too! 🙂 

  • This was one of my FAVORITE meals to make as a broke college student… and now, as an only-slightly-less-broke grad student, I definitely miss it and didn’t even think of subbing spaghetti squash! Thanks for the awesome recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  • Jamie Hicks

    Awesome Recipe!! I usually have bad luck when it comes to sea food probably because I’m not a big fan of it, but, I gave it a try and prayed that I would love it because I need to find a way to get more sea food into our lives. Anyway I used bacon grease to toss my “linguini” and it was soooo good!! I loved it! Thank you for this awesome meal. 🙂

  • Awesamsauce

    Made this last night- my SO and son started squabbling over who would get the leftovers the next day! Absolutely adding it to our rotation. Thanks for a solid superfood recipe!

  • Diane

    So happy to have found this recipe! It was always one of our favorites.. Hope I can find the spaghetti squash!

  • chris dogfoot

    I had a craving to do something with clams and just started paleo. I had to improvise a little but this was fantastic. Works great on the spaghetti squash.

  • Charmaine Taylor

    Just read the “Almond Milk Lattes: worth eating” segment of your newsletter this week! We got a container of the Capello’s linguine on sale locally and froze it, waiting for the perfect recipe. Wondering if you’ve had this recipe over them yet? I found this recipe as the first result on Pinterest for dairy free clam sauce. So I’m thinking it might be fate. 🙂