Spicy Herbed Little Neck Clams

I grew up on steamers with a big belly that you would dunk in clam broth to get the sand out, then dunk again in butter before eating. I had my first little neck clam when I ordered spaghetti alle vongole, and have never gone back to steamers. There are many ways to make these clams, but this recipe has some added heat to it.


  • 3 pounds little neck clams, soaked in ice-cold water with 1 cup of flour mixed in for 30 minutes (removes the sand)
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated in half
  • 1 cup shallots, peeled and sliced into 1 centimeter rings
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more for finishing
  • 2 large jalapeños, sliced into 1 centimeter rings, remove stem, keep seeds
  • 1/2 cup garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 cup basil, finely chopped, more for finishing
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 2 red, 2 green Cowhorn Peppers
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

Making It

  • Melt the butter in a small dutch oven and sauté the shallots, red pepper flakes, jalapeños and seeds for five minutes. Then, add the garlic and basil and cook for another three minutes. Add wine and clam juice and bring to a boil, then reduce by a third, add the clams and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, then toss in the peppers and recover. Check to see when the clams open up. It should take 2-3 additional minutes.
  • Place the the clams and sauce in a bow and toss, then sprinkle additional basil, chives and red pepper flake.
  • Season to taste, and serve.
Our neighbors Tracey and Trevor bring the best gifts to a party.

3 comments on “Spicy Herbed Little Neck Clams

  1. Best fish monger for little necks? I know Whole Foods carries 3.5-4 lb Spanish Octopus by request or frozen.

  2. Pingback: The Dinner Party for the 4th of July – Cooking Conveniently and with Purpose #LPBcooks

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