This may seem intimidating if you have never cooked with clams, but trust me when I tell you, it’s beyond simple to make. Don’t let those little shells scare you away from this delicious meal. And if you’re still not convinced, you can absolutely leave them out and still have a delicious sauce with the canned clams I used to make the sauce richer and meatier. This is a recipe you will turn to for at home date nights or special occasions.
As you can see from the ingredient photo above, you probably already have most of the items in your kitchen right now. The only ones missing are probably the clams. Always buy your fresh clams the same day you’re planning on cooking them (or the day before). Store them in your fridge, half covered with a damp cotton towel, until you’re ready to use them. And you must scrub and then rinse them clean INDIVIDUALLY, with a dedicated scrub brush.
This is a one stop meal, which you can serve with some asparagus on the side. I like to really get wild and have it with some fresh warm Italian bread to scoop up the sauce. That’s it – you’re set. Now go make it!
Linguine with Clams
- Submerge your fresh clams in some cold water 20 minutes prior to cooking. This helps release any sand there may be inside. Then scrub them individually and rinse.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the 1 tablespoon salt and the linguine. Cook until just shy of al dente (will cook for a few minutes in the sauce). Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water for the sauce later.
- In an extra large deep skillet, heat your oil and add the shallots and saute for a minute or two. Stir in the garlic for 15 seconds. Add the wine, chili pepper flakes, salt to taste, canned clams, 1/4 cup parsley and fresh clams. Bring to simmer and cover and cook until the clams open – about 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any unopened clams.
- Remove the clams from the pan and cover them to keep warm. Add the cooked linguine into the pan and toss it around for a few minutes to coat with sauce. Add the reserved pasta water to help the sauce stick to the pasta.
- Remove the pan from the burner and add in the butter, lemon juice and remaining parsley and toss until butter is melted. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Add the clams back in the pan to serve or just add them on top of each plated serving.