Vermicelli with Pink Clam Sauce

Clam Sauce

Create a restaurant quality meal for your next dinner party in less than 20 minutes. This pink clam sauce is a combination of garlic white wine sauce and tomato sauce.

One of my favorite childhood food memories is going out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, with my family. You could select pasta with one sauce or a combination of sauces.

My mom always ordered the Manager’s Favorite and combined the white clam sauce and marinara, which created a beautiful pink sauce that was creamy and acidic with a hint of the ocean. I liked to order the Pot Pourri, which was a sample of Mizithra cheese and browned butter, meat, clam and marinara sauces.

Since my parents are in town for the weekend, I decided to recreate mom’s favorite pasta dish. This recipe uses fresh littleneck clams and canned baby clams. The fresh ones provide a nice presentation and the baby clams provide extra meatiness and flavor.

Vermicelli with Pink Clam Sauce from ZestuousWhen using fresh clams, pick through them. If the shells remain open when you pinch them, the clams are probably dead and you don’t want to cook them. When steaming the clams in the white wine tomato sauce, they will pop open like they’re singing your praises for a glorious dish. If any don’t open, toss them.

It’s best to use fresh clams within 1-2 days of purchasing them from the fish counter. I unfortunately, waited about 4 days, so I had some goners before cooking and after.

If you’d like to make this dish extra pink and Zestuous, you can stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream when you add the parsley. It’ll increase the calories…but of course, as is anything with cream, it will make it fantastic!

Vermicelli with Pink Clam Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Vermicelli with Pink Clam Sauce


  • 8 ozs. dried vermicelli
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. chili flakes
  • 16 fresh littleneck clams
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 10-oz. can whole baby clams
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Boil salted water in a large pot and cook the vermicelli until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté until tender.

Add the littleneck clams, white wine, tomato sauce and the juice from the can of baby clams.

Cover and cook until the clams open, 8-10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the baby clams, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Arrange the littleneck clams in four dinner bowls.

Add the drained vermicelli to the pan. Toss to coat. Add parsley and cook for one more minute.

Add pasta evenly to each bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Serve.

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