• Pasta With Spicy Sausage and Clam Sauce


Pasta With Spicy Sausage and Clam Sauce

By Andrew Zimmern

Pasta with clams is a once-a-weeker in my home, and whether I put it over linguine or any other shape pasta, it doesn’t matter: the sauce and the noodles are harmonious regardless of what shape you use (though I do like macaroni and orecchiette because they hold the sauce). And I can eat it with a spoon. If I serve it with thin spaghetti, I need more grilled or toasted bread to sop up the broth.

A word about the sausage. I started this up after discovering some amazing raw spicy pork sausages at local butcher shops. I used them on the grill but always wound up with one or two four-once sausages left over. So, slit the skins, crumble the pork and off you go. Pork and seafood of any kind have an affinity for one another that is a glory to behold. But if you want to skip the sausage, go right ahead.

This recipe serves two to three persons well.

Pasta With Spicy Sausage and Clam Sauce


  • 1/2 pound dried pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 6 ounces crumbled pork sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chile flakes
  • Fresh oregano
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chopped greens, such as mustard greens
  • 18 littleneck or cherrystone clams
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


Cook a half pound of dried pasta and reserve. I make the clams/sauce in about 17 minutes or so, if you care to time it well. If your pasta beats your sauce, drain and toss in a few teaspoons of olive oil while it’s on standby.

Add a glug of good olive oil to a large, wide pan with three-inch sides.

Sear four to six ounces of crumbled pork. Add some chopped onions or shallots, 10 sliced garlic cloves, six bay leaves, a half teaspoon of hot chile flakes and some oregano. (I used four to five stems of dried flowering oregano from my garden.) Cook over medium heat for four to five minutes.

Add 1/3 cup of dry white wine. Bring to a boil and let cook for a minute or so. Add two cups or so of chopped greens (I used young mustard greens). Add another 1/4 cup of really good olive oil, and stir well.

Add 18 or so littleneck or cherrystone clams, cover, and cook for five to six minutes until they’re open, shaking the pan occasionally.

When all have opened add a large handful of chopped parsley and juice of half a lemon. Add the pasta to the pan, then stir and heat the pasta in the sauce.

Serve immediately with crusty bread.

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