January 12, 2013

Baby Clam Linguine

Five pounds of baby clams, some white wine, garlic, linguine….this recipe will make your crave Italian food like never before. 
Little neck clams. 100 count. 

More often than not, when I see clam linguine on the menu, I order it. You know, pasta with  clams, garlic, parsley, and maybe some Parmesan cheese for those non-traditional Italian-food eaters. You can't go wrong....until your own homemade version blows every other clam linguine off the menu! 

After making clam linguine with my dad for the first time, I have an entirely new appreciation for the dish; and from this day onward, I will certainly scrutinize the flavor of the clams and their broth when ordering this dish at a restaurant. 

Pair this dinner with a bottle of 2010 Lioco Chardonnay and you're set. 

If you want to impress a special someone or host an unforgettable dinner, this is the recipe for you:

Clam Linguine
Serves 4 hungry adults

5 lbs baby clams
White wine ( a bottle should do - some for the broth and some for you!)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Crushed red pepper flakes

  1. Wash and scrub the clams to remove all sand. 
  2. In a large pot, add two tablespoons of olive oil and equal parts water and wine, so that you have ¼ of the pot filled.
  3. Steam the clams for about 8 minutes, so that the shells have just opened. Shake the pot every couple of minutes to help all of the clams open.
  4. Drain the clams, straining the liquid and putting it aside.
  5. Place the liquid leftover from steaming the clams in a medium pot and reduce without the lid, using high heat. This reduction may need additional straining, as sand may settle at the bottom of the pot. 
  6. Meanwhile, remove the clams from their shells. (This takes some time, but it is worth the effort.)
  7. Sautee garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil in a skillet. Carefully add the shelled clams and avoid over-cooking them.
  8. Add the garlic and clam mixture to the reduced broth and cover to keep warm.
  9. Cook pasta in a large pot. Add clams and broth to the cooked pasta.
  10. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cream for added thickness.
  11. Garnish with parsley and lemon juice.
Set the table, serve hot, and save room for seconds. 

....and voila! 

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