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Pasta with Clams & Mussels

by Mary Sacks

Pasta with Clams and Mussels

As with all recipes, read them through before beginning. Make sure you read “Food for Thought” at the end of our recipes to gain insights in both choices of ingredients and cooking process. In this case, your choice of clams and mussels could change everything.



  • 1 lb. linguine
  • unsalted butter, chopped parsley, salt, pepper (optional)


    Over high heat bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook (stirring occasionally) about 8-10 minutes. When tender, but firm drain well into a colander and then transfer to a large bowl. Add a little butter/olive oil, parsley, salt & pepper. Toss until coated.

Clam & Mussel Sauce


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 cup prepared RC No Added MSG Clam stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • crushed red pepper to taste (Hint: ½ tsp. will make the sauce very spicy)
  • 12 Littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 12 mussels, cleaned


  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots. Cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the broth, red pepper flakes, mussels, and clams. Cover with a tight lid and cook until the shellfish have opened about 4-7 minutes. Discard unopen shellfish.
  • Transfer seafood to a bowl.
  • Finish: Adjust the seasoning of the cooking liquid with salt and pepper. Add the cooking liquid to the bowl of pasta. Toss. Divide up among bowl, garnish with clams and mussels. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and offer parmesan on the side.

Food for Thought

  • Clams. If I purchase fresh clams and mussels for this dish, it is only for show. Both clams and mussels are packed at or very near their source. I’ve heard stories, but I have never run across a can of clams with grit in them.
  • Canned Clams are cooked: Keep this in mind. However, that means you don’t and shouldn’t cook them in the recipe. Add them both when you are tossing the sauce with the pasta.
  • Canned also means there is another option for flavor—smoked. Maybe not all of them, but one small can of smoked clams would add a bit of mystery.
  • Ocean & Chopped clams will not disappoint and give you the best flavor and best bang for your dollar.
  • Remember those clams and mussels for garnish. You can steam these open in a separate pot and add them to your dish as a garnish.
  • Let’s say, Clams and Mussels aren’t your things. Imagine substituting the clams and mussels with shrimp or lobster or crab or a hearty fish (Sword, Pollock, etc.). There is always RC No Added Shrimp Base, RC No Added Crab Base, RC No Added Lobster Base, and RBC Seafood Base (which is a mix of shellfish.)
  • Sauce. Make ahead of time: This is a sauce that can be made well ahead of time because you haven’t added any of the seafood and won’t include that until the very end. This options now makes this a great party dish.
  • Adding vegetables. Zucchini, corn, carrots, peas, etc.
  • Linguini. When I was growing up this dish was made with spaghetti. There is no law that requires a certain shape.
  • I don’t use tongs to toss my pasta during the coating process. I grab the bowl with 2 hands and shake/toss the pasta in the bowl. This way I don’t break the pasta up.
  • Thickener? What if the sauce didn’t thicken the way you had anticipated? There is an item that is in our pantry that should also be in yours — RC Gluten-Free Instant Food Thickener. It can be added to hot or cold sauces. A little goes a long way. It was created for the healthcare industry, but a little sprinkle of this in your pan sauce will give your sauce enough body to cling to the food.


  • 4 to 5

Mary Sacks
Mary Sacks


Retired Certified Executive Chef and Educator

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