Linguine with Clam Sauce
Lately I have been on a huge seafood kick. Salmon baked with soy sauce and ginger for dinner Sunday night, Monday’s lunch was octopus salad and later in the day for dinner was linguine with clams, and today’s lunch was at Mary’s Fish Camp where I had grilled calamari on a bed of greens with cilantro, lime and mint followed with a bowl of cockles with white beans and garlic. I’m loving it and can’t get enough at the moment!
Most of these dishes I ate out at restaurants; however, I did make the linguine with clams for a couple friends I had over for dinner last night. I wanted to make something special, but I also wasn’t in the mood for a stressful evening of cooking either. I was thrilled when I came across this recipe on Cooking Light’s website. I had actually never cooked with clams before so I was really excited to try this out, and even more excited to see just how easy this was.
I made some adjustments to the recipe. I added some more garlic, more clam juice, and added butter. Probably some more olive oil too, though I never measured it to really say for sure. Overall, I loved this. My only regret was that I used fresh fettuccine in lieu of linguine. My thought was that the fresh pasta would be ideal (my market didn’t have fresh linguine as a choice), and maybe it would have been, but not in fettuccine form–it was just too thick and heavy for the dish. So be sure to use linguine. If you have spaghetti, that should work too. Oh, also, I’ve heard rumors that there are people out there who use canned clams for this dish. Really? Please do try to avoid this. I mean, just having the cute, little shells in your bowl make it worth it, right?
So here is the recipe, adapted from Cooking Light. This officially makes 6 servings, but I’d say it’s really about 4 meaningful servings (this is Cooking Light after all).
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 dozen littleneck clams
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 pound uncooked pasta
- 3 tbsp butter, cut into 3 pieces
- Rinse clams, making sure any grit on them has been removed.
- Add the pasta to salted, boiling water and prepare per the package directions.
- In a large skillet (with a lid and large enough to eventually hold all the clams) over medium heat saute the garlic in about 2 tbsp of olive oil for a couple minutes. Make sure that you do not burn the garlic.
- Add the clam juice, crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper, clams, and parsley. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the clams open.
- Meanwhile, when the pasta is ready drain it and mix it with the remaining olive oil (2 tbsp) and butter.
- Add the clams and sauce to the pasta, toss and serve. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.