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Feb 19, 2007 07:56 AM

Canned Clams

I am attempting to make Linguine with Clams for my brother's birthday this Sunday (his favorite) and the recipe I have calls for a can of chopped clams in juice. Unfortunately I am not familiar with buying canned clams. Is there a good brand out there that someone could recommend? Or maybe one that uses better quality clams or tastes better then others?

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

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  1. Do you have access to fresh clams - even though the recipe calls for canned? If so, I'd definitely go that way. Also, if you've made this before, I'd be happy to post my variation on Marcella Hazan's recipe - my all time favorite.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      post away - would love to see it...

      1. re: bluesman13

        24 little neck clams (I buy the smallest clams I can find, and adjust the numbers accordingly - I might buy 48 tiny ones if I'm serving 4 people - if I have to buy big ones, I chop them up - also, some might be bad, so I might get a couple extra to factor that in)
        5 T extra virgin olive oil
        2 Lge garlic cloves, sliced paper thin (I use my truffle shaver)
        3 T chopped parsley
        1 tsp hot chili pepper flakes
        2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
        1/2 cup dry white wine
        1 lb pasta
        8-10 basil leaves

        Clams: Wash/scrub clams. Then put into a pan so that they pile up about 3-4 deep (I prefer a narrower pan, so that I lose less juice) and cover. Put over high heat, check frequently and remove the ones that have opened. If I'm left w/ a couple that haven't opened, I pour out the liquid and then keep cooking the remaining ones until they do. Remove meat from shells, swish clams around in the liquid, then put in small bowl (cutting up first if large) and cover w/ 2T olive oil and saran wrap. Don't refrigerate.

        Clam juice: Strain clam juice through paper towel lined strainer into a bowl.

        Sauce: At this point, have everything ready, b/c it goes quickly from here! In a broad skillet/saute pan (big enough to add the pasta later), put in 3 T olive oil and garlic, heat at medium high for a couple of seconds, and don't let it get any color on it. Add parsley and chili pepper, stir, add tomatoes, cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add white wine. Simmer about 1 minute, until it reduces quite a bit and turn off heat.

        Cook pasta (spaghetti - one pound for this amount) until just undercooked. Turn heat under sauce on high, add drained pasta and clam juice and then toss while it is cooking, until all the liquid is evaporated. At this point, add the clams and olive oil, and the basil (tear up), toss again and serve immediately. I like to serve some extra hot chili pepper in case people want it spicier.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I use the same recipe. It is the best. I will add that as you are cooking the clams, dont be alarmed that the liquid doesnt come out right away. It will come out eventually and you will have enough liquid.

    2. If you have to use canned, the bag style of Chicken of the Sea is quite good. Not much juice so I add some clam juice from a bottle.

      1. I've had good luck with Snow's chopped clams. They come in clam juice. You note the recipe calls for "a can"; think you will need more than one can.

        1. I use two cans of (Snow's, Groton's) chopped clams (drained, juice saved) plus 8 oz bottle of clam juice per NYTimes Cookbook (Claiborne). Makes a nice creamy sauce, plenty for 4-6 - family loves it.

          1. Thank you for all the suggestions!
            I suppose I could use fresh clams, however I've never prepared them myself to use in any recipes so I'd probably have to experiment a little first.
            The only time I endulge in Linquine with Clams is when I order it out, but I would love to see the recipe mentioned, then I could start making it at home more often. YUM!

            2 Replies
            1. re: lollipop

              Use the canned clams - I always use a combination of chopped clams (Doxsee or Cape May brand) as well as a can or two of whole baby clams. Make sure to add some lemon juice and a splash of white wine and your brother will be in heaven!

              1. re: lollipop

                Clams are a great thing to learn to cook because they sort of have built-in timers. When the open, they're pretty much ready. I've made them with a juts a little liquid, no liquid, and lots of liquid and it's always very good. I also use canned clams sometimes for pasta and that's fine as well. Good luck!