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Mar 22, 2018
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Just Five: Linguine with Clams

July 23rd 03:07pm, 2012

I have an affinity for bivalves; clams, oysters, mussels … I love them all, but I am a party of one in my home, so I rarely cook with them. There is no big secret to cooking clams. Simply clean the outside of the shells. Usually the “beards” have been removed, but if they haven’t, pull them off. Then toss them into heat until they open. If the shells open, as they should if you bought them fresh, you have a tasty treat. If they don’t (Sometimes a tap on the shell will get them going.), those dudes were dead when you bought them, and you don’t want to eat them. This dish is deceptively simple; I mean, put enough oil, butter and garlic on just about anything, and it’s usually decent. The addition of some white wine with the broth from the clams makes a wonderful sauce, and the red pepper flakes elevate it to a meal you can serve to guests or save all for yourself.

Linguine with Clams
Courtesy of Dee Ryan
4 Servings

Salt to taste
1 lb. dry linguine (or noodle of your choice)
¼ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
20 littleneck clams (about 2½ lbs.) scrubbed
½ cup dry white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc, but any white wine you like to drink that is not sweet will suffice.)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. red pepper flakes plus additional to taste

• In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of salted water.
• Add the linguine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
• Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, or until soft, being careful not to burn the garlic.
• Add the clams and wine to the pan, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until the clams have opened. Discard any clams that do not open.
• Stir in the parsley, butter and red pepper flakes. Toss the pasta with the clam sauce in the pan until coated.
• Pour pasta into a large serving bowl, add salt or additional red pepper flakes to taste and serve immediately.

By Dee Ryan

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