Linguine with Clams and Fennel

Cooking clams with sautéed fennel and leeks infuses them with flavor. They’re fanastic with this chile-laced pasta from chef Erling Wu-Bower. Slideshow:  More Pasta Recipes 

Linguine with Clams and Fennel
Photo: © Tara Fisher
Total Time:
40 mins


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

  • 3 leeks ( cups white and light green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise)

  • ¾ pound linguine

  • ½ fennel bulb (medium, 1/2 cup cored and thinly sliced)

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 4 pounds Manila clams (scrubbed)

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup fish stock (or low-sodium chicken broth)

  • 4 teaspoons neonata (see Note sambal oelek or other chunky chile paste)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh)

  • 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • basil leaves (Torn, for garnish)


  1. In a pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the linguine until just al dente; drain.

  3. Meanwhile, in the pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the fennel and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the clams, white wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the clams open, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer the clams to a large bowl as they open. Remove the pot from the heat; discard any clams that don’t open. Reserve 12 whole clams in their shells; shell the remaining clams.

  4. Bring the juices in the pot to a boil and stir in the linguine, neonata, clams and leeks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and toss until the pasta is coated and the juices are thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and half of the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls garnished with basil, the remaining parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


Neonata is an Italian condiment made from salted fish and chiles. It’s available at Italian markets and from Amazon.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, lightly herbal coastal Italian white.

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