Easy, low carb, gluten free twist on an Italian classic! Spaghetti with clam sauce

Edamame Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

You’re going to love this easy, low carb, gluten free twist on an Italian favorite — edamame spaghetti with clam sauce!


Easy, low carb, gluten free twist on an Italian classic! Spaghetti with clam sauce

Sometimes when I’m watching Norah reading to her stuffed animals, playing teacher, or just getting joy from a bike ride, I remember my own life at seven years old. It was pretty good times back then. I mean what isn’t great about being in second grade?

When I was in second grade I lived in Long Island, New York…East Rockaway to be exact. Jimmy Carter was President. I have no idea why, but I loved that guy. I used to wear a big, rather 70’s looking, peanut necklace all the time. I used to walk to school — all by myself. I had my first boy crush. I used to follow him home from school every single day. Corey Lonagan was his name. I loved the heck out of Barbies and adored my chalkboard. I absolutely wanted TO BE Wonder Woman. I used to copy her famous spin, whipping my hair dramatically with each turn, secretly hoping it might work and I would become her. This was especially fun to do in the pool. I knew the comfort in having my mom home when I got out of school. I remember the day Elvis died. I walked in from school and found her crying in the kitchen. Crazy to think he was only 42, younger than I am today. So except for the “cold war,” the “energy crisis” and the occasional fight with my sister — life was good.

Easy, low carb, gluten free twist on an Italian favorite. Spaghetti with clams

This dish takes me back to the second grade, the good ole’ days of 1977. Not because it was the first time I ate it, I actually don’t remember that. It’s more because it evokes in me that second grade feeling….when life was simple and easy. It also reminds me of family. Lord knows I’ve sat with family eating this dish hundreds of times. It’s the first dish I learned how to make myself, and one that I’ve since made for many other people. It’s a dish that says hey, I love you.

Healthy Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

For this month’s recipe redux theme, “favorite food memories” I’m sharing a healthified version of this classic dish. Back then we didn’t use edamame spaghetti, that’s for sure. It was the real thing, and it was always linguine. Besides that, everything else about this recipe is authentic to my mom’s version.

bean pasta with white clam sauce

It’s crazy how just the sound of the garlic hitting the hot oil makes me smile. And the smell! Amazing. I love the crunchy bits of garlic in this sauce. The cool thing about this dish too is that it’s so simple. You start with a few cans of chopped clams (make sure they’re chopped, not minced), some fresh parsley, chopped garlic (not minced) and salt. That’s it. Toss the sauce with the pasta and you have a tasty dinner. Oh, and in our house pasta was always accompanied by a loaf of Italian bread. The best part of the meal was tearing a piece off and dipping it into the clam sauce at the bottom of my bowl!

spaghetti with clams

To make the dish a bit healthier for today’s eater, I used the Edamame Spaghetti from Explore Asian. It has a ton of protein and fiber, less carbs and only two ingredients: edamame and water. I’ve experimented with these bean pastas quite a bit and I really like them. Try my Black Bean Pasta with Cauliflower or Mung Bean Fettuccine with Leeks and Pumpkin — they are super delicious!

I hope you enjoyed my favorite food memory. I also hope Norah doesn’t get upset in 20 years when she’s seeking comfort in foods like roasted vegetables, avocado, salmon, and Greek yogurt.

Edamame Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

Edamame Spaghetti with Clam Sauce


  • 1 pound pasta (your choice)
  • 4 cans chopped clams
  • 2 small cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • sea salt
  • crushed red pepper, optional


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat olive oil in small sauce pan until golden brown, add UNDRAINED canned clams, parsley and a dash salt. Bring to bowl and then return to simmer until pasta is done. Drain pasta and toss with clam sauce. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread!

35 replies
  1. Rachael@AnAvocadoADay
    Rachael@AnAvocadoADay says:

    This was one of my favorite food memories too! My parents are from Long Island and NJ, so it must be a thing because my SC husband thought I was nuts when I told him this was one of my favorite childhood meals. Can’t wait to try your version!

  2. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious
    Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says:

    I couldn’t help but smile when I read about the smile on your face when the garlic hits the pan and sizzles. It’s amazing what memories arise and evoke a smile when working in the kitchen! I am sure Norah will have the fondest memories of cooking and eating with her mommy!

  3. EA-The Spicy RD
    EA-The Spicy RD says:

    SO impressed that you were eating clam sauce when you were in 2nd grade! This pasta sauce sounds fabulous, and now I have to try and find some edamame pasta. Also, reading this I’m remembering my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Sutton who I thought was the absolutely coolest teacher in the world with her long brown hair, and groovy 70’s flower dresses and white Go-Go boots. Great memories 🙂

  4. Lauren Vance
    Lauren Vance says:

    I love this dish and what you’ve done to it by making it your very own….and now it can be our very own thing. My father and I LOVED linguine with clams growing up. I’ll definitely be trying this one out. Yum! Keep kicking butt Dani. xoxoxo

  5. Kim
    Kim says:

    Not Italian, or from NY. But, lived in NYC for 10 years, and have MANY Italian friends from LI/Queens/SI who cooked for me/invited me to their family’s dinners, and this was a staple. Became one of my all time faves. That and penne and vodka sauce. Now, Danielle, if you can figure out a way to make vodka sauce healthy, I’ll never ask for anything again. 😉

  6. genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens says:

    I loved reading this post! My favourite line: “It’s a dish that says hey, I love you.” And your description of the sound of garlic hitting oil and the smell… absolutely spot on. I have never heard of or seen edamame pasta, but it sounds amazing and I would love to try it!

  7. Fiora
    Fiora says:

    Looks like a good alternative from any processed tomato based sauce. Considering Olive oil is filled with good nutrients added with natural herbs and spices. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  8. Brittany
    Brittany says:

    This recipe is so yummy! I too ate spaghetti with clam sauce as a child, so eating this brought back so many comfort feelings from my younger years! The edamame pasta was an excellent compliment too. I loved how filling and healthy this dish was. Definitely will make again!

    Oh, and it’s husband approved! 😀

  9. Karen
    Karen says:

    Our clam sauce always had a little chopped onion or shallot, green pepper, fresh basil and a pinch of dried oregano and pepper flakes cooked in the olive oil and clam juice. Also just a dash of Worcestershire sauce. We added the clams last to keep them from getting rubbery. We served with Parmesan and good Italian bread. Fun to remember, thanks!
    The recipe

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Flounder Honey Sesame Fish Tacos Tuna Noodle Casserole  Sweet & Spicy Shrimp with Soba Noodles Edamame Spaghetti with Clam Sauce Spicy Spanish Rice with […]

  2. […] recipe comes from yours truly. Spaghetti with Clams is not only a childhood favorite, but it’s so easy to make. You can literally have dinner on […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *