I find myself craving Linguini and Clams every month or so and I’ll run to the market to find that there aren’t any clams available. So when I do see fresh clams, I put all other cooking plans on the back-burner and buy a few pounds worth.
My preference is the smaller clams – littleneck, manilla or cockles which are all available on the west coast where I live. I want to be able to eat them in one bite so I stay away from the larger types.
A few facts about clams:
- There is an abundance of clams available so they are not too pricey.
- Not one type of clam available in the US is listed on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s “avoid” category of sustainability.
- Purchase clams that are completely closed shut, which indicates that they are still alive.
- Immediately store in the refrigerator in an open or lightly covered bowl until ready to use.
- Scrub the clams prior to cooking.
For this recipe, the quality of the pasta is key. A favorite pasta brand you can find in many local markets (Whole Foods, Gelson’s and others) is a high-quality pasta imported from Italy. Rustichella d’Abruzzo comes in many different shapes and sizes. I find that the texture of this pasta is rougher and grabs the sauce and the flavor is terrific. They make several gluten-free pastas as well.
With a few other simple ingredients, you can whip up this Linguini and Clams recipe along with a simple salad, a glass of crisp white wine and be eating in 30 minutes!
To complete this terrific bowl of yummy pasta, try serving it alongside one of these Italian salads:
A simple Italian preparation.
- 3 pounds of clams: Littleneck, Cherrystone, Manilla or Cockles.
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped.
- 2 sprigs of tarragon
- 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 1 package of linguini (approximately 1 pound)
Salt and pepper
- Fill a large pot with water and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil.
- Heat a large saucepan then add clams and wine. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan a few times until most of the clams have opened up.
- Remove clams and place in a bowl then strain the liquid from the pan into a sieve through a paper towel or cheese cloth to remove any grit leftover from the clams. Set aside for later.
- When the water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente (slightly chewy and undercooked).
- Heat the same large saucepan from the clams over medium heat add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sliced garlic and red peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Make sure the garlic does not burn.
- Add chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and cook for 4 minutes then add tarragon and stir. Reduce heat to low.
- Place clams back into pan with garlic and tomatoes, add cooked pasta and reserved liquid from the clams, along with the additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turn heat to medium.
- Stir everything, add chopped parsley, additional salt and pepper and serve.
This recipe can definitely be made with canned clams and will be good but is much better with fresh clams!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: linguini, pasta, clams, italian