Linguine with White Clam Sauce

By , March 21, 2012 08:20

I’ve posted this before, but decided to revise it somewhat and it came out amazing.  I know what you’re thinking, why is someone who’s such a seafood snob using canned clams?  Well, I moved back to Las Vegas from coastal Massachusetts and fresh seafood is wicked expensive and it still sucks.  There’s nothing like going down to Rowand’s in Beverly, MA and grabbing some fresh seafood.  Most of what I bought there was swimming no more than 12 hours before I arrived.  Here in Vegas there are no good seafood markets. N-O-N-E !!!

This is a perfect mid-week, inexpensive, simple and amazingly delicious meal.

1 pound dried linguine
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 (6-ounce) cans of chopped or minced clams with their juice
½ cup dry white wine
¼ teaspoon dried oreagano
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and slowly cook, stirring, until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Or sweat the garlic in the olive oil for about ten minutes.  Add the clams with their juice, wine, red pepper flakes, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper (keep in mind that the clams are quite salty on their own). Stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Sometimes I like it a tad thicker than usual and I make a slurry by taking one tablespoon of flour and mix it in a small amount of wine or water.  Slowly pour the slurry to the sauce and stir till you get your desired thickness.

Now, when you add the wine, make sure you use a good quality dry wine such as a nice Chardonnay. Use something that you would actually drink. Don’t be stupid and use one of those “cooking wines” that you’ll find at the grocery store. They suck.  They suck wicked bad. If you wouldn’t drink the wine out of a glass, why the hell would you cook with it?

Cook the linguine while reserving about ½ cup cooking water. Tip for cooking linguine: add 4-6 quarts of cold water to a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil.  Add about ½ tablespoon of salt. Always wait till the water is boiling before adding the salt. If you add the salt before the water boils, the salt crystals will not dissolve immediately and can damage your pot. Stirring occasionally, cook for 8-10 minutes or so, no longer than 12 minutes.  I like my pasta al dente, so 8 minutes is good for me.  Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the sauce along with the chopped parsley to the sauce and mix well, adding a small amount of the pasta cooking water if needed to coat the pasta evenly. Cover and cook for about a minute. Serve immediately. This dish is pairs perfectly with a bottle of Spanish Albariño.

I measured out the ingredients to have a little more sauce than most people would use. I like my pasta swimming in sauce. If you would like to regulate it better, add drained pasta to your serving dishes and spoon sauce over the top to get the volume you like.  I could eat this three or four times a week.

Yankees suck!

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6 Responses to “Linguine with White Clam Sauce”

  1. Melissa says:

    Hey Jaime, that sounds really good! I’ve never cooked with canned clams before..just always assumed they were gross. They’re really ok? I’d like to try this.

  2. J.Ho says:

    Seriously, it’s pretty awesome once you get it the way you want it. Everyone’s tastes vary, but I got the right balance of butter, lemon and wine for taste. It’s quick, easy, inexpensive and delicious. Let me know what you think.

  3. Andi says:

    Okay, so you say never use the store cooking wines…. does that include marsala or sherry? I almost exclusively use chardonnay when making a sauce, but there is the rare occasion when I’m drinking the last glass (blasphemy, I know), and only have those options left. And my husband usually uses both.

    I have done something very similar to this before, and it is very tasty, easy and cheap. Gonna try your way this week. Cheers!

  4. J.Ho says:

    Since I can’t stand anything made with marsala, I’ll go ahead and say, uh, don’t use marsala. As for sherry, some sherry can be used for drinking. Most of them are just sweetened fortified wines and some are simply strong sweet vinegar. So it’s up to you. Via con Dios.

  5. Anna says:

    Possibly one of my favorite meals on the planet. My grandfather used to make this dish. And he was Welsh(although the dark-skinned kind from those Spaniards that ship-wrecked and washed up ashore). Go figure. You know I REALLY think http://www.mass.gov/massgrown (gateway to locally grown) should be on your website by now… 🙂

  6. J.Ho says:

    I think you’re right, Anna. For once. I’d like to start getting stuff from local farms and friends’ gardens and start doing “MassGrown” themed posts. This is the time of the year for it too. Catherine Zeta Jones is Welsh/Irish. Wicked hot!