Linguine & Red Clam Sauce Recipe

Meet Executive Catering + Events Chef, Ken Bender.  A native of Richmond, Ken has done it all in his culinary career, from working in mom and pop joints to Fortune 500 companies.  When he isn’t leading the kitchen at the Richmond facility, Ken can be found surfing in the Outer Banks, so it’s no wonder he chose to share with us a recipe where the star ingredient is seafood!

Ken Bender

“This is one of my favorite recipes for cold winter days and nights.  It is so warm and comforting, and it just reminds me of sitting by a fire enjoying a good glass of red wine.  Crusty bread is a MUST for sopping up all of the wonderful sauce left after you have finished off the pasta.”

Linguine & Red Clam Sauce


  • 1 pound linguine
  • 36 middleneck clams
  • 2  cans (6.5 oz) chopped clams- drained, reserve liquid
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes- crush by hand
  • 1 cup yellow onion minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (I like it garlic forward, use less if you like)
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flake (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh italian flat leaf parsley


Heat olive oil in large skillet, add onions and sweat for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 1 minute. Add tomato paste, saute 30 seconds, add white wine and reduce by two-thirds. Add crushed tomato and  liquid from clams, then add 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper, and simmer for 20-30 minutes

Scrub clams under cold water to remove all debris and sand. Set aside. Heat 1 gallon of water in large stock pot to boiling and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook pasta to al dente and drain. Do not rinse.

 Add pasta and fresh herbs and chopped clams to sauce, spread around fresh clams and cover for 3-5 minutes until clams open, discard any clams that do not open. Serve immediately.




Many thanks to:

Photography- Hayes & Fisk Photography