This year marked 11 years of living in Seattle. This month marked my first visit to the Washington Coast, a popular destination to secure Pacific razor clams. While I was there for a socially responsible weekend getaway, I wasn’t able to go clam digging. The season is currently closed where I was visiting.
The razor clams in this dish are from Oregon and came to me already cleaned (praise all things!), because I must admit they are a rather, well, unpleasant protein to handle. Full disclosure: I struggled a bit to cut them into bite-sized pieces for this pasta preparation, which is why you don’t see a photo of them before the finished dish.
Pacific razor clams are large – they average 3 to 6 inches in length – and are found on the coastline from Alaska down through California. You can find similar clams in New England, all notorious for their razor-like shells.
Here in the PNW, razor clams are a popular shellfish often battered and fried or chopped up for chowder. From what I understand, the simplest preparation is a pasta dish with a wine and stock sauce, so I went that route for my first try.
A friend captured these razor clams on the Oregon coast, cleaned them up and they were delivered to me frozen. I thawed them overnight in the refrigerator and chopped the clams into bite-sized pieces to stir into this dish.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 pound razor clams, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ red onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups vegetable or seafood stock
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain and set aside.
While spaghetti cooks, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add diced onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir minced garlic into the pan and cook for 2 minutes, continuously stirring to avoid burning. Pour in ½ cup white wine and reduce heat to a simmer.
Once wine is absorbed, add in 2 cups of vegetable or seafood stock. Return to a simmer and add chopped razor clams. Cook for about 3 minutes, just to cook and heat through.
Add cooked spaghetti to the pan, season with salt and pepper.
Serve with zest and juice of a lemon. Add a bit of shredded parmesan and fresh, chopped parsley (optional).