Tiny clams like cockles taste sweet and make an excellent foil for tangy cherry tomatoes and Martha's DIY roasted-garlic butter in her take on the Italian classic.

Martha Stewart Living, September 2018


Credit: Lennart Weibull

Recipe Summary

50 mins
50 mins


Roasted-Garlic Butter


Instructions Checklist
  • Roasted-Garlic Butter: Mash together butter, garlic confit, and lemon zest. Season with salt. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months. (Makes 1/2 cup.)

  • Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until slightly less than al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain.

  • Meanwhile, heat garlic with oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high until just golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, transferring each slice to a plate when browned. Add pepper flakes and tomatoes to skillet; cook until tomatoes soften a bit, about 3 minutes.

  • Add wine and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add clam juice and return to a boil. Add clams, cover, and cook 20 seconds. Uncover and cook, removing clams to a large bowl as they open, 3 to 4 minutes. Discard unopened clams.

  • Add pasta, parsley, 1/2 cup pasta water, and 3 tablespoons garlic butter to skillet (reserve remaining garlic butter for another use). Cook, stirring, until pasta is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir, adding more pasta water as needed to create a silky sauce. Pour over clams; toss to combine. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic slices and more cheese and parsley; serve.


You can also use regular unsalted butter instead of the roasted-garlic version in a pinch.