Spicy Clam Chorizo Pasta

tomatochile de arbolshellfish

Spicy Clam Chorizo Pasta

Spicy Clam Chorizo Pasta

Pasta con Salsa Picante de Chorizo y Almejas

Recipe Yield

4 to 5 Servings

Cooking time

55 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 6 votes


  • 4 to 5 dozen small littleneck clams
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 pound chorizo casings removed and chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 5 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 chiles de arbol stemmed, chopped (keep the seeds), or more to taste
  • 1 cup light beer that you like to drink
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

To Prepare

  • Rinse and scrub the clams under cold water, making sure they are closed and unbroken. Discard any that aren’t closed. Drain well.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot or casserole set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chorizo, breaking it into smaller pieces with two wooden spatulas or spoons, and fry until it begins to crisp and brown, about 4 minutes. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
  • Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil to the rendered chorizo fat and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for a couple minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chile de arbol and cook for a minute, until the garlic is fragrant and the chile de arbol begins to toast. Pour in the beer, add the salt, and once it comes to a simmer, incorporate the drained clams. Let it come to a simmer again, cover with a lid, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the shells open.
  • Remove the lid and transfer the clams using a slotted spoon into a bowl, including the ones that may have fallen from the shells. Raise the heat to medium-high and continue to cook the beer-clam liquid for 6 to 7 minutes, so it strongly simmers and a lot of the alcohol evaporates. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and honey. Stir well, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once in between.
  • Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 9 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove about 3 dozen clams from their shells and discard those shells. Remove the lid from the pot with the sauce and incorporate the cooked chorizo, shelled clams, and the clams still in their shells. Mix well.
  • Strain the spaghetti and add it to the sauce. Toss until it is coated. Transfer to a serving platter or individual bowls and garnish with the parsley and cilantro and serve.


24comments inSpicy Clam Chorizo Pasta

  1. Rafael Rosa

    Dec 12

    I make this dish with the Italian sausages and my family loves it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Yummy, great idea!

  2. Michael L.

    Jan 18

    Hi Pati,

    Just made this recipe tonight for dinner – it was delicious! Really hit the spot for a winter evening’s dinner. Thank you very much for sharing your recipe.


    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 22

      Thanks to you for the lovely feedback Michael, so glad you guys liked this pasta 🙂

  3. Suzie

    Dec 03

    I don’t cook with alcohol at all.Can I use water?Or whatever you suggest.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Of course, you can substitute with chicken or vegetable broth, enjoy this recipe Suzie!


    Aug 02

    Hello Patis,
    I’m going to try this recipe today 😋 these flavors look and sound great! and I have to make the Jalepeno cheese French bread 🥖

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 05

      Hola Armando, did you like the Pasta?

  5. Kenny

    Jul 02

    Do you use dry or fresh chili de Arbil?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 04

      For this, I used fresh Kenny 😉

  6. Joseph

    Jan 20

    Hey there I was at San Fran Sesquitos Bay 40 years ago drove there in my Baja Bug no paved roads , I asked the fisherman if Mussels existed there , they called them the hoof of a mule and did not eat them because legend tells them they make you Loco. crazy, .so I dove for them in the back bay ,and prepared them almost how you did the clams ,,I called it Mussels Fra Diablo ,no pasta and a chunky sauce ,,I showed the head of the small camp pick up opened shell break off top shell dip back into sauce and eat he watched he finally tried one den two and all the fisherman watched ! Well he did not go Loco and smiled Tequila. Tequila they went and brought it out ,,All enjoyed and the party was on thanks for the memory your recipe brought Viva da Mussels

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 21


  7. Mike H.

    Nov 16

    You are one of my new favorite chefs to watch. I am making this recipe tomorrow. Do you typically serve any sort of bread with it?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 18

      1. Linda Seaman

        Jul 29

        Pati, this link, or rather the web page, is broken. I have accessed the chorizo and clam pasta page just fine, but all I can get, no matter how I try to access the bread recipe, is just the page that shows the picture of it, with no way I can see to access the actual recipe to try. Thanks so much, love your show!!

        1. Pati Jinich

          Aug 20

          Sorry that happened to you Linda, I just checked and both recipes are working just fine, but anyway here is the bread recipe for you 🙂 https://patijinich.com/jalapeno-garlic-cheesy-bread/

  8. Patti

    Sep 16

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is delicious, and easy to make. It is nice and chunky, looks wonderful, and makes the house smell so good-you get hungry walking in the door. Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 24

      Oh the smell…I’m so glad you loved the recipe, Patti.

  9. Tina

    Jul 10

    Do you use Mexican or Spanish chorizo

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 10

      I use Mexican chorizo. Enjoy the pasta, Tina!

  10. Teresa D

    Feb 19

    I substituted mussels for the clams….they r my favorite. My husband says this recipe is a “keeper”. It was delicious. This recipe is a bit much for the two of us, but my husband is more then willing to eat the leftovers. Lol

    1. Pati

      Feb 20

      I’m so happy you guys loved it, Teresa.

  11. Anonymous

    Dec 29

    Can I substitute habanero for the Chile de árbol? Not sure I can find those here in Rhode Island!

    1. Pati

      Jan 04

      Sure! You can try either guajillo chiles or habaneros, or even a jalapeño…use your favorite chile to add a bit of tasty heat 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.