The liquor (juice) from your freshly dug clams is the key sauce ingredient in this easy crowd-pleaser from Langdon Cook, blogger and author of Fat of the Land. If freshly dug clams seem especially sandy, soak them in a bucket of clean salt water for a few hours. Don't forget to tell people that it's totally acceptable to pick up the clams and slurp the meat right out of the shell.
1 large shallot, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
About 1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
3 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1 pound dried linguine
4 dozen littleneck clams, preferably small (4 to 5 lbs.), scrubbed and rinsed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Meanwhile, sauté shallot and garlic in oil in another large pot over medium-high heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup wine and cook 1 minute. Stir in chile flakes and tomatoes; cook 1 to 2 minutes.
Boil pasta 5 to 6 minutes, or until halfway done. Meanwhile, add clams to garlic mixture, increase heat to high, and cook, covered, 5 minutes.
Scoop out 3/4 cup pasta water and reserve. Drain pasta and add to pan with clams. Cook together, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and clams have opened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add some pasta water or more wine if you want a juicier sauce. Discard any unopened clams. Toss pasta and clams with parsley.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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