Littleneck Clams and Spanish Chorizo with Basil and Garlic Linguini

Littleneck Clams and Spanish Chorizo with Basil and Garlic Linguini

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Every week (or two) I have a specific theme my Instagram food photography feed (@whatscookingat_rays) and my theme last week was Spanish Chorizo (see my previous post).


My cooking themes may be about a specific cuisine, ingredient, or type of dish.  Last week’s Spanish Chorizo theme proved a bit of a challenge because even though it was one “ingredient” I had three varieties to work with.  Each one was slightly different from the others but in cooking, those little differences can make all the difference between a successful and memorable dish. and a so-so one that you would just as soon forget.

I chose the beef only Spanish chorizo from Cacciatore Brothers, an Italian market, and deli in Tampa, Florida.  It has less fat and drier so I knew it would break down with even the mildest and shortest of cooking.  I decided to find a dish that would benefit from this characteristic of breaking down during cooking.  Enter steamed clams and white wine!!!

My favorite clam dish goes like this:  render some pancetta, add shallots, garlic, and chili flakes; toss in a bunch of clams, some white wine, and butter.  When all the clams have opened garnish with chopped parsley, pour into a large bowl and have at it.  Sometimes I will cook some linguini then add that to the clams at the end.

This recipe simply replaces the bacon and butter with Spanish chorizo.



  • 2-4 lbs of littleneck clams
  • 1 link beef only Spanish chorizo sausage (1/2 lb of Mexican chorizo may be used if you’re not able to find Spanish chorizo)
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp diced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (or more)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Chardonnay preferred)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh pasta (dried may be used of course but add more time to overall cooking time)



  • Dice the shallots, mince the garlic, chop the parsley, and slice the Spanish chorizo; set all aside.
  • Inspect the clams.  The clams must be closed (means they’re still alive).  If you find any clams that are open, tap them a few times.  If they are still alive the tapping will cause them to close their shells.  Discard any that remain open even after tapping.
    • Wash under cold running water; set aside.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil (to cook pasta).  Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the amount of pasta you end up using.


This is the tricky part and mainly because of the pasta.  Whether you use fresh pasta or dried, plan on cooking the pasta per the producer’s cooking instructions to coincide with finishing cooking the clams.  Fresh pasta takes around 3-4 minutes to cook and dried pasta 11-13 minutes.

  • Heat a large saute pan on medium-high; add the oil, garlic, and shallots.  Saute about one minute.  (Do not burn the garlic as that will make it taste bitter.)
  • Add the chorizo.  Stir and cook for about five minutes.
  • Add the clams and white wine; cover and allow clams to steam for about five minutes.
  • Remove each clam as they open and place them in a bowl large.
    • The clams will open at different times.  If you keep the first clams to open in the steaming pan while you wait for the rest to open, they will end up being overcooked by the time the rest of the clams open.
  • Discard any clams that will not open.
  • Add the pasta and mix well with the sauce and chorizo in the pan.
    • You should have plenty of liquid in the pan but if you do not add a ladle or two of the pasta water.
  • Return the cooked clams to the pan, add the parsley; mix well, cover and cook for another minute.
  • The dish is now done.  Plate from the pan or if you want something more impressive to bring to the table, place the clams and pasta on a serving platter and take that to the table.  Your guests will definitely be impressed!


Littleneck Clams and Spanish Chorizo with Basil and Garlic Linguini


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