Spinach Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce in a white bowl.

Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce

Twirl your fork in linguine with clams with an Asian-inspired twist! Sake, red-chili sauce and a touch of cilantro make this a delicious pasta dish you can cook in just 20 minutes!

Spinach Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce in a white bowl.
Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce

Dinner was never easier! Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce gives an Asian twist to an Italian classic, all in 20 minutes.

Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce in a serving bowl.

Note: This recipe for Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce was first published March 16, 2011 on Kitchen Confidante. Updated photos were added on May 23, 2018.

Are you a twirler or a slurper? Use a fork or a spoon? Or both?

When it comes to pasta, I get a kick out of watching people (especially kids) transfer strands of pasta to their mouth. I myself prefer the fork-twirl-with-spoon method and have been trying to teach this technique to my children, but it is a skill they struggle to perfect. Perhaps it’s for the best because apparently, using fork with spoon is actually considered poor form. Ask around and you’ll surely incite a debate, even amongst Italians. But I recently learned that while it is proper etiquette to provide diners with a spoon to help toss pasta and sauce on the plate or bowl, purists and pasta experts use the fork alone to twirl and eat their pasta. Who knew?

Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce in a white pasta dish with sake.

I thought of this the other night when I made Linguine with Clams. But I threw those rules out the window. After all, this was Linguine with Clams in a Sake Red Chili Sauce. This Asian spin on the Italian favorite is actually more understated than it sounds, but I figured it would permit the Filipino etiquette of eating with fork and spoon to this bowl of pasta.

Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce in serving bowl with cilantro.

Discussion on how to eat it aside, I have to say, I really need to remember to make this dish more than once a year. It’s so simple and effortless, it is the perfect weeknight meal. I promised my family I would throw this into the repertoire more often…which I suppose means the kids can practice perfecting that fork twirl.

Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce

Twirl your fork in linguine with clams with an Asian-inspired twist! Sake, red-chile sauce and a touch of cilantro make this a delicious pasta dish you can cook in just 20 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 430kcal


  • 1 lb linguine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sake (or your favorite white wine)
  • 1 cup clam stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili paste (add more if you really like kick)
  • 4 lbs clams
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with Kosher salt and cook linguine until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  • Add sake and clam stock and allow the liquid to reduce for about three minutes. Stir in the red chili paste. 
  • Add clams to the pan, cover and let cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the clams open up. Discard any unopened clams.
  •  Stir in the butter and cilantro. Add linguine to the pan and toss until the pasta is coated in sauce. Serve immediately!


Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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Recipe Rating

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  1. Trinh

    Thanks for the recipe! This is one of my favorite pasta dish. It is so simple, light and full of flavors. I’ve added pepper flakes for an extra kick because I love spicy food.

    I just started my own cooking blog. I am not a professional or anything; I just recently picked up cooking. Come check it out! http://easycookingamateur.blogspot.com/

  2. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    I twirl the pasta in a spoon and then slurp it :) Clams and linguine, in all its briny simplicity, is one of my favorites, and the sake instead of white wine is a nice twist. Makes me want some right now!

  3. Julie@browncookie

    Trying this one! Beautiful photography. I love to cook with pasta and clams too but always choose a marinara sauce. For a change, this will be very intriguing. Thanks for sharing! Julie

  4. Food Frenzy

    I am very intrigued to taste this dish with Sake Red Chili sauce. I love linguine with clams and this opens a whole new opportunity to appreciate it even more. Congrats on the top 9.

    We invite you to share this post and some of your favorite food posts on Food Frenzy.
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  5. Debi (Table Talk)

    I love how you swapped out Italian red pepper flakes for chile paste & white wine for sake—fun twist!
    p.s. I like to use a fork and spoon to twirl too!

  6. Celia

    Linguine with clam sauce is always amazing, but the use of sake instead of white wine is pure genius…

  7. Paula - bell'alimento

    You know I adore Linguine & Clams! And bc you asked…I’m in the fork only camp ; ) I LOVE your spicy sake and red chili additions! And your fotos always make me swoon Liren! Is it summer yet ; )

  8. Monet

    Oh Ryan and I would float up to heaven if we were served this meal. I know what I want to make over the weekend! We tend to twirl our pasta on our fork, but I’ve even been known to use my hands if I can’t get a strand to go where I want it to (oops!) Thank you for sharing this delicious dish. I hope you have a beautiful Friday. The weekend is nearly here!

  9. Rochelle (Acquired Taste)

    I never realized that it was “wrong” to use a spoon to help twirl your pasta around a fork. I always thought when I was doing that (about 80% of the time as long as nobody that would care was around) I was using bad manners!

    Oh well, from the sounds/looks of this clam linguine (love the sake inclusion!) I think I could just forget the utensils all together and just dig in!!

  10. Roxan

    I think you like the fork and spoon method because you’re filipina? ;] I got a kick out of that when I was in the philippines. I never mastered eating pasta with a fork and spoon. I just twirl some up with my fork and then slurp up whatever got missed in the twirl. It makes me feel like a barbarian sometimes, but I don’t mind.

  11. Belinda @zomppa

    Oh, this is delicious! I love slurping…I try to twirl but I lose patience b/c what I really like is slurping!! What a perfect combination with the chili.

  12. norma823

    Everytime I see a dish I say that is one of my favorites…well, I do love me a plate on linguini and clams. I make my traditionally with white wine, but as a lover of sake this will be a different approach and cannot wait to try your version.

    I use both spoon and fork and also enjoy watching children eat their pasta. They all have their different ways…

    Today is ST. Patricks, so it’s corned beef, cabbage and potatoes…but the weekend you will find me in China Town looking for my clammies…

  13. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Have I shared with you my love for linguine with clam sauce? When my family became Kosher when I turned 11, I so missed this dish and ordered it every chance I could when we’d go out to eat (my parents weren’t particularly strict). I’ve only made it a handful of times myself… usually over the summer when we go clamming on Cape Cod. That’s right… we get our own clams. Doesn’t get much better than that…

    And now you have me yearning for summer… sigh.

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