The Classic Linguine With Clams Recipe, Freshened Up for Spring

This isn’t just any linguine that has the addition of clams. It’s the end of the Slow Food Fast recipe from Tracy Malechek Ezekiel is what’s known as the spring-fever version, spruced up by adding ramps, green garlic as well as lemon zest and chives while remaining authentic of the recipe’s Italian origins. “I’ve homed in on Campania, where linguine alle vongole comes from,” said the chef. “But the market always tells me what to do.”

Soak the clams in salted, cold water to wash away any dirt. After that, could you give them a thorough scrub and rinse? Add only a little salt to the pasta water; the clams provide ample brine. Ms. Malechek-Ezekiel cooks the clams in one layer but takes care to stay moderate. “I move each one out of the pan with tongs as soon as it opens,” she told us.

Garum and fish sauce are excellent additions to the wine, and the reduction of butter “ups the clams’ umami.” Do you not have ramps? Try spring onions or even scallions. Do you need to substitute regular garlic with green garlic? No problem, says our chef. “It’s about what’s freshest and most available.”

Linguine With Clams, Green Garlic, and Ramps

The lemon zest, ramps, green garlic, and chives give this linguine a remarkable freshness and taste.


  • Three tablespoons of olive oil plus additional to taste
  • Three bulbs of green garlic or large cloves of garlic, finely cut into slices.
  • 7-10 ramps, or scallions, thinly cut
  • Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt
  • One teaspoon of red chile powder
  • 3/4 cup white wine dry
  • 1 pound linguine
  • Eight full parsley stems
  • The zest is finely grated, and the juice from 2 lemons.
  • 3 pounds of littleneck clams submerged in salted and cold water, then scrubbed and washed
  • Four tablespoons of unflavored butter
  • One teaspoon of Garum or Fish Sauce
  • Three tablespoons of minced chives to garnish


  1. Make a large pot of water lightly salted to a rolling boil at high temperature.
  2. Set an oven to medium heat. Add three tablespoons of oil along with ramps and garlic. Sprinkle light with salt and spice. Sauté until garlic softens but does not change color, about 3-5 minutes. Add chile flakes and lightly toast for about 10 seconds.
  3. Add pasta to the boiling water.
  4. Add wine immediately to the pan, along with ramps, and increase the temperature to medium-high. Add lemon zest and parsley, and cook until wine is reduced to a minimum, about 2 minutes. Add the clams to the pan and cover. Steam until the clams are just opening for about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove any clams that do not open.
  5. Once the pasta is a little close to al dente, within 8 – 10 minutes, rinse and keep 1 cup of cooking water.
  6. Remove the parsley from the clams and take them out. Mix the pasta in a pan with the butter and garum. Mix well with as much pasta water as you need to make a thick sauce that coats the pasta. Switch off the heat and stir in 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add salt, olive oil, and more lemon juice as you like. Sprinkle with chives.


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