Angel Hair Pasta with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil

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Perfect for summer! Angel hair pasta with shallots, garlic, chopped clams, cherry tomatoes, and basil

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hello summer gardeners, have your tomatoes come in yet? Our plants are just beginning to bear ripe tomatoes, and if I can just keep the hornworms at bay (Constant Vigilance!) we’ll have a wondrous crop.

Our basil got a late start but is now happily bursting out of the raised beds, requiring daily snipping. Those two—tomatoes and basil—such perfect partners in the garden, and on the plate.

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Angel Hair Pasta with Clams and Cherry Tomatoes

Here’s a quick and easy, kid-pleasing angel hair pasta dish we made recently with chopped canned clams and cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden. I say “kid pleasing” because my 16-year old nephew gobbled it up and came back for more. He’s sort of a big kid now, but I think that younger ones would like this too.

Angel Hair Pasta with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 3

Save time by prepping the shallots, garlic, tomatoes, and basil while the water for the pasta is heating up.


  • 30 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 6-ounce cans chopped clams (and their juices)
  • 8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta
  • Salt for the pasta water


1 Toss cherries with salt and basil: Place sliced cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Toss with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 Tbsp of the chopped fresh basil. Set aside.

2 Boil salted water, prep shallots and garlic: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (4 quarts of water, 2 Tbsp salt). While the water is coming to a boil, prep the shallots and garlic and start the sauce.

3 Make tomato clam sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until translucent, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped clams with their juices.

Reduce the heat to low and let simmer at a low temperature while the pasta is cooking in the next step.

4 Cook the pasta: Once the salted pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook, uncovered at high heat until al dente, no more than 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add the 1/4 cup of pasta water to the sauce in the sauté pan.

5 Combine pasta and sauce: Add the pasta to the cherry tomato mixture and toss to combine. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil.

Serve immediately.

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Angel Hair Pasta with Clams and Cherry Tomatoes

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

15 Comments / Reviews

No ImageAngel Hair Pasta with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Luis

    Super easy and delicious!
    Thank you.


  2. Beatrice

    Delicious and refreshingly light. I added a few more tomatoes, garlic powder, a tad more salt, and black pepper. It was amazing, keep the recipes coming.


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  3. Anne Beck

    The previous page I saw this on mentioned cream and lemon and parmesan cheese, but the recipe doesn’t mention these ingredients. . This recipe is a lot like my linguine and clam sauce recipe. I was looking for the creamy, lemony, cheesy recipe for something different.

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  4. Anne Murphy

    This was DELICIOUS! I used canned fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh clams (added after tomatoes simmered a bit) and then added cooked pasta after most had opened. It was seriously fabulous. I hope clams stay on sale all summer so I can make this once a week.


    Show Replies (1)
  5. Jessica

    Do you have a cookbook out, or any plans for publishing one? I have loved all your recipes, and would absolutely buy such a cookbook if you published one!

    Show Replies (1)
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Angel Hair Pasta with Clams and Cherry TomatoesAngel Hair Pasta with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil