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Spenser prepares this dish in Potshot.


"I could make pasta with clam sauce if I use canned clams," I said.

"That sounds nice."

"I could add peas, if I use frozen ones."



  • 2 6 1/2 oz. cans minced clams
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked to package directions
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes (or 1/4 cup snipped fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil (or 1 TBSP snipped fresh)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 8 oz. dried pasta (fettuccini or linguine are usually mentioned but use whatever you like.)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Prepare onion, garlic, and peas as noted above. Drain the clam juice from the cans into a measuring container. If needed, add water to equal 1 cup. Assemble the remaining ingredients.

Put a large pot of water over the heat to cook the pasta, and a sauce pan over another another burner for the sauce. If you do it right they should both be finished at about the same time.

Heat the olive oil in the sauce pan; add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender. Put the milk and flour in a closed container and shake until smooth. Add to the pan along with the salt, pepper, and clam liquid. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Stir in the clams, peas, parsley, basil, and wine or broth. Heat through.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot for a few seconds to cook off any excess water, then transfer it to a serving bowl and add the sauce.

Top off each portion with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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