Linguine with Clam Sauce – Keeping with National Pasta Month, here is a standard recipe in our house. Since the idea of this blog is supposed to be simple recipes and techniques, I need to point out there are many ways to make pasta with clams. You can use whole clams, add tomatoes, thicken the sauce with flour and butter, use bottled clam juice – many excellent variations are out there. This is a basic recipe, that you should feel free to modify and add to as you see fit. Sometimes simple works just fine.
Linguine with clam sauce
Linguine with clam sauce is one of those dishes that sounds elegant – or at least like the type of thing you’d order at a restaurant instead of making at home – but it’s one of the easiest, most affordable pasta dishes you can make. I think the biggest obstacle for people is a fear of cooking shellfish like clams and mussels at home. They are very easy to cook and, once you try them, you’ll make this recipe over and over.
For this Linguine with clam sauce dish, you can do all of the prep and make the clam sauce in the time it takes to boil the pasta. Dinner can be ready in 30 minutes or less. Toss a salad, warm some crusty bread, and pour a glass of the same white wine that you used to make the sauce.
- Large serviing bowl
- 1 lb. package linguine pasta
- Salt for pasta water
- 2 6.5 oz Cans chopped clams, including the clam juice (Do not use minced clams. They are too small for this recipe.)
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
- Pinch of red chili pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp minced parsley
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley to add right before serving
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Cook Linguine according to package directions. Set your timer for 2 minutes less than the recommended time (so you can make sure that you are cooking the pasta al dente).
- Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and the red chili pepper flakes.
- Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, until the garlic is almost browned.
- Add the white wine to the pan.
- Open the cans of clams and squeeze out the clam juice into the pan.
- Turn the burner to high and let the sauce boil, until it reduces.
- You can always add more wine or pasta water if it gets a little too much reduced.
- While the pasta is finishing its cooking, the sauce should be reduced by about two-thirds.
- Add the chopped clams, and return to a simmer.
- Stir in the minced parsley and the lemon zest.
- When the pasta is done to the point of al dente, add the cooked pasta into the sauté pan with the Clam sauce.
- Finish cooking the pasta in the clam sauce. It’s ok if a little water gets into the sauce as you transfer the pasta to the sauce pan. (This is a trick I learned from Lidia Bastianich- cook the pasta until it is al dente and then add to your sauce in the pan, to finish cooking).
- Transfer to a serving bowl
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve with a little more fresh parsley sprinkled over the top.
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