Linguine and Clams is one of our all-time favorite meals. It is one of the meals my mother used to make for us on special occasions. She served it with crusty Italian bread & butter, and my father poured a few glasses of Chianti Classico. I am sharing her recipe below.
My mother used dried herbs and canned clams and it was always delicious. When we moved to the Pacific Northwest I adapted her recipe but used fresh herbs and fresh clams. A general rule of conversion is 1-Dry to 3-Fresh, and I have indicated the conversions next to each herb.
This recipe comes together quickly, so assembling all of the ingredients and equipment will help you be successful, enjoy the process and have a relaxing delicious meal! I cannot tell you how many times I have burnt the garlic while looking for something or measuring my spices.
1/4 pound butter
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
4 -6 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano OR 3 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tablespoons dried basil OR 4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 Tablespoons dried parsley OR 6 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2-3 Tablespoons flour
2 bottles Atlantic Clam Juice
2 Cans Whole Baby Clams and the liquid
OR IF USING FRESH CLAMS
1 cup quality white wine
2 lbs fresh little neck clams or Manila clams @24 pcs, washed
1 pound linguine
Santoku Knife, cutting board, measuring spoons, measuring cups, stainless steel colander, stainless steel bowl, sauce pan**, pasta pot, ladle, spoon, and serving dish. **If using fresh clams use a sauce pan, with a lid and large enough to comfortably hold all of the clams in one or two layers.
Prepare and measure all of the ingredients, mince the garlic, and open bottles.
Over medium heat melt oil and butter, just barely brown garlic.
Add Dry spices stir for another minute. If using fresh spices add after the flour.
Add flour cook for @3 minutes
Add clam juice & canned clam liquid OR if fresh & wine. Gently simmer without reducing.
Put a large pan of water on to boil for pasta. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of water.
CANNED CLAMS: When you drop the pasta add clams to the garlic butter sauce and simmer gently for 5 minutes then reduce the heat to keep warm until your pasta is ready. Be careful not to over cook.
FRESH CLAMS When you drop the pasta, Add all the clams at once into the simmering garlic butter liquid, increasing the heat temporarily until it comes back to the simmer; cover and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring quickly occasionally. Remove all open clams and free-floating cooked clams and cover to keep warm. If any clams remain closed, give them a couple more minutes covered cooking; if they do not open, discard them.
If necessary, add reserved pasta water so that you have a good amount of sauce. Add a handful of fresh parsley. Toss cooked pasta in the hot sauce and plate. Top with all open clams.
Serve with salad, a good Chianti and crusty bread to mop up all the sauce.
Sending warm wishes to your home,
from the husMait home kitchen.