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Linguine with Clams, Bacon, and Tarragon

Servings: 2

It’s amazing how the addition of tarragon plays with our notion of classic linguine and clam sauce. The herb makes it feel lighter and more summery.


  • Kosher salt
  • 5 oz. bacon, chopped
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 24 littleneck clams (about 3 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
  • 6 oz. linguine or spaghetti
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 790
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 25
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 125
  • Sodium (mg): 1910
  • Carbohydrates (g): 73
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Sugar (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 48


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • In a large Dutch oven or similar pot, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until the garlic just begins to turn golden around the edges, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the clams and vermouth, and stir to coat. Cover, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, checking periodically and transferring the clams as they open to a large bowl, until all of the clams have opened (discard any that don’t), 5 to 9 minutes.
  • Pour any clam broth (along with the garlic and bacon) into a bowl or liquid measuring cup, leaving behind any sediment.
  • Remove most of the clams from their shells, reserving some in the shell for garnish, if you like. Collect the juice from shelling and add it to the broth. Very coarsely chop the clams.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and then drain and return to the pot. Add the clams, broth, tarragon, and butter to the pasta. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, adding a little reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Serve with lemon wedges and the bread.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • user-4326385 | 06/06/2019

    A delicious pasta recipe, rich in flavor yet simple to execute.

  • susanlsumner | 05/25/2018

    So easy and so good!! Definitely will make it part of our rotation. I would add more clams next time...maybe double up on clams.

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