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Red Clam Sauce

This recipe tastes like an Italian restaurant specialty and cooks while you take care of other things. What a marvelous way to jazz up pasta sauce! —JoAnn Brown, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Additional minced fresh parsley, optional
  • 6 ounces linguine, cooked and drained


  • In a small skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Transfer to a 1-1/2- or 2-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the clams, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, bay leaf, sugar, basil and thyme.
  • Cover and cook on low until heated through, 3-4 hours. Discard bay leaf. If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley. Serve with linguine.
    Freeze option: Omit additional parsley. Cool before placing in a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place in a large saucepan; heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve with linguine and, if desired, minced parsley.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup sauce with 3/4 cup cooked linguine: 305 calories, 5g fat (0 saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 553mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 7g fiber), 15g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Stephanie
    Sep 12, 2020

    This was a good base recipe but needed some tweaking. I made it exactly as the recipe stated and it was good but bland. I ended up adding oregano, Italian seasoning and salt. I also added some Splenda as it was too acidic and I’m watching my weight. Next time I’ll add 1-2 additional cans of clams (without the juice) to make it a little heartier. But overall it was good yet nothing like I’ve had in an Italian restaurant. There are 2 versions of this- one for the crock pot and one for the pressure cooker. The calorie count is very different so I’m assuming one included the pasta and the other is for sauce only as the ingredients are identical.

  • Mimi
    Aug 27, 2020

    Italian husband doubted you could "slow cooker" this. It really was good and easy. My only change was that I used 2 10 oz cans of chopped clams...cause it is all about the clams. Also make sure you scoop from the bottom...husband CONVENIENTLY got more clams than I did!

  • Natalie
    Aug 2, 2020

    Husband loved this . We added 2 tbsp of sea food sauce it was just like his mom used to make. I'll for sure make this again

  • JoanPflieger
    May 13, 2019

    This sauce is delicious and so easy to make. I recently ordered red clam sauce in a restaurant and was very disappointed with it so I decided to see if I could find a recipe for red clam sauce. This sauce is far superior to any I have ever had in a restaurant. I will be making this often.

  • Frances
    Jun 13, 2018

    Very good as written and I have improvised from this recipe and added chopped pepper and celery with the onion and then I had left over pasta sauce that I was not sure what to do with and added that instead of tomato and paste, with a bit of white wine and chicken broth and let it all simmer, that was a "use up things" from the refrigerator recipe based on this one. Used fresh herbs from garden -basil, parsley, thyme .

  • JennTats
    Feb 14, 2013

    Usually we make Alaskan king crab legs for valentines day but this year the quality wasn't worth the $ so I went with this recipe. It was wonderful tasting, resteraunt good! Thank you for help saving our otherwise seafood less Valentines Day :)

  • phougie
    Mar 27, 2010

    outstanding! we use a can of Italian tomatoes and cut the herb and garlic seasoning in half. Use chopped clams vs, minced, much more texture and flavor. Also cook for an hour on crockpot hi then turn to lo

  • hardscrabblegirl
    Feb 22, 2010

    I have made this receipe numerous times since it appeared in the magazine. It is absolutely wonderful and very easy to make. even picky teens like it.

  • julie2379
    Jan 23, 2010

    No comment left

  • mjlouk
    May 3, 2009

    No comment left