Once summer hits, I can’t get enough seafood. I love clam linguine and usually use an easy recipe that calls for the canned kind of clams. I really wanted to try making them fresh and found a recipe from Anne Burrell (she’s on Food Network.) I was SO tasty and I was shocked at how easy it was.
Ingredients (I highlighted my tweaks in pink)
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 9 cloves garlic, smashed (I did a little less garlic, about 6 cloves)
• 5 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed under cold running water (I did about 4 dozen clams)
• 1 cup white wine
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes (I left this step out)
• 1 pound linguine
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
• 2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
• 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional, plus shavings for garnish
• Kosher salt
• Big fat finishing extra-virgin olive oil (high quality)
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and add half the garlic cloves. Bring the pan to a medium- high heat and cook until the garlic becomes golden brown. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, remove it and discard, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Put 3 1/2 dozen clams in the pan with the wine and 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove the clams from the pan and reduce the cooking liquid. Let the clams cool slightly, then remove them from the shells and reserve. Discard the shells. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat.
Coat the same saute pan again with olive oil and add the remaining garlic cloves and a large pinch of crushed pepper flakes. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until the garlic becomes golden brown. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, remove it and discard, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Add the remaining raw clams and reserved clam cooking liquid to the pan. When adding the reserved clam liquid, be sure to check for sand and grit in the bottom, you may lose the last couple of tablespoons of juice but that is better than sand in your pasta! (She is not kidding about the sand part. Be very careful in this step…I dumped a lot of sand.) Cover and cook until the clams open.
Remove the cooked clams in their shells from the pan and keep warm. Add the butter and cooked clams that have been removed from their shells back to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and toss in the cooked pasta and the herbs. Cook the pasta together with the sauce until the sauce clings to the pasta. Turn off the heat and toss in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if using, and finish with a drizzle of big fat finishing oil. Toss or stir vigorously to combine.
Divide the pasta into serving dishes and garnish with the clams that are still in their shells and a little more shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.
It was DELICIOUS and honestly just as easy as the canned clam version I used to make. I served it with crusty bread and a Caprese salad.
For the Caprese salad, I just sliced three tomatoes and bought a really good mozarella cheese from Fresh Market. I pulled a little fresh basil and drizzled it with a balsamic glaze (also found at Fresh Market) and it was amazing.