While I seem to be on a pasta kick (fact: I am always on a pasta kick) here’s a favorite recipe from one of my favorite chefs. Anne Burrell is my hero, and one of the few Food Network personalities who I find utterly charming as well as knowledgeable about food. I adore her as much as I adore Alton Brown — you can be sure a recipe by either of them will be relatively easy to follow and will taste great when it’s done. This linguine dish is no exception.
(I didn’t leave my clams in the shells like Anne said, but that’s okay too!)
Linguine in White Clam Sauce
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 9 cloves garlic, smashed
- 5 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed under cold running water
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes*
- 1 pound linguine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Kosher salt
Sauté half the garlic cloves in olive oil, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove the garlic and discard it. Put 3 1/2 dozen clams into the pan, along with wine and water. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil; cook until the clams open, about ten minutes. Remove the clams from the pan and reduce the liquid. Allow the clams to cool, then remove them from the shells and reserve them. Discard the shells, but reserve the cooking liquid.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat. Sauté remaining garlic cloves with crushed red pepper flakes until garlic is fragrant. Remove garlic and discard it. Add the remaining raw clams and reserved clam cooking liquid to the pan. Make sure to check for grit at the bottom of the liquid and discard it. Cover and cook until the clams open. While the clams are cooking, add pasta to boiling water until al dente.
Remove the cooked clams in the shells from the pan, and return the shelled clams to the pan, along with butter. Bring to a boil, and add in drained pasta and herbs. Toss until the sauce sticks to the pasta. Turn off heat and add parmesan. Garnish with clams in shells, and a little more parmesan.
*Hopefully your large pinch and my large pinch are not the same size, because I have actually rendered this dish nearly inedible by overdoing it with the red pepper flakes. Be cautious!