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Spaghetti with Clams a la Casino

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Category Fish and seafood
Cuisine American/Italian
Author Jenni Ridall Lata


This clam pasta recipe takes the delicious components of Clams Casino and transforms it into an easy weeknight (almost-one-pot) meal. Smokey bacon, sweet garlic and peppers, savory oregano, and the crunchy breadcrumbs all come together to create a clam pasta worthy of company.


  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces dry whole-wheat or semolina spaghetti
  • 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • cup whole-wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounces (3 slices) thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed clean under cold running water
  • cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season generously with salt. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions; drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
  • Melt ½ tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add Panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
    toasted breadcrumbs in a skillet
  • Add bacon to a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to bowl with breadcrumbs. Stir in ½ teaspoon lemon zest and set aside.
    crispy bacon bits in a large pot
  • Add bell pepper, shallot, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes to bacon drippings and cook over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
    diced bell pepper and shallot cooking in a large pot
  • Add clams in an even layer, then stir in wine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer until clams have opened, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer cooked clams to a bowl (discard any that did not open).
    clams in a large pot with diced red bell pepper
  • Bring clam cooking liquid to a boil over medium heat. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved pasta water. Add cooked pasta and clams and toss thoroughly, yet gently, to combine. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and parsley; season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes.
    cooked clams, diced red bell pepper and spaghetti in a large pot
  • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle reserved bacon-breadcrumbs generously over the top.


See substitution notes listed in article above. 
Not sure how to clean clams? I use this method for cleaning clams.
To store fresh clams, add them to a clean bowl and cover with damp paper towels. Place the bowl inside another bowl filled with ice and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, replenishing the ice at least daily.
To keep this totally one-pan, toast the breadcrumbs in the pot before cooking the pasta. 


Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 545kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 22gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 545mgFiber: 10gSugar: 2g
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