Linguine with Clams

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linguine-with-clams

Linguine with Clams

Pasta, there is something about pasta that my family, and I am sure yours as well, love! It is especially suitable for the weekly family dinner. At our weekly get togethers, pasta serves as a catalyst for camaraderie, joviality and just joy- amazingly it never fails!

My linguine with cockles, smaller variety of clams, with just a right amount of heat from hot red pepper and delicate seafood taste of clams is so satisfying that it is adored by even the youngest member of our family, my two year old daughter Vivian (not taking Nika into account, the girl is still toothless:). It is technically two recipes in one: the calms are cooked in a delicious wine-based broth and linguine pasta with clams. The clams can be enjoyed on their own with a slice of baguette dipped into yummy broth. But you can also add cooked "al dente" pasta to the broth and reduce the broth even further by coating pasta with it, so that it becomes a flavorful sauce for your pasta. I cooked my linguine in this incredibly beautiful Lagostina pasta pot with hammered-copper exterior. Created in Italy, the Motherland of pasta, it has a stainless steel strainer insert for easy draining. This amazing pot is absolutely a must have for any pasta loving family. Firstly, with the built in strainer, it is really convenient and the pasta just comes out perfecto!

Herbs and garlic are important components of any pasta and my version is no exception. In addition, lately I’ve been favoring finely diced pancetta in my pastas. I cook it quickly until it is nice and crisp, then sauté the rest of my ingredients in rendered fat from pancetta mixed with olive oil and sometimes even butter. It adds complexity and smokiness that goes so well with delicate flavor of shellfish and also it adds a nice crunch to the finished dish. To serve, divide pasta between the bowls, and show some skill in the art of plating; have all the little garnishes ready to be used. Mildly spicy red pepper, finely chopped herbs such as parley or dill (dill works particularly well with shellfish), lemon zest and good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle seasonings and garnishes to your liking and serve this pasta hot!

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Ingredients: cockles or calms, linguine, pancetta, onion, hot red pepper, garlic, parsley/dill, butter, olive oil, stock, white wine.

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This heart-shaped mollusk is perfect in pastas, its smaller shell doesn't overcrowd a serving bowl. If you can't find these, aim for regular-sized clams. Wash clams thoroughly under a cold running water.

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Heat a large wide-sided pan over medium heat, then pour a dash of oil. Add pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes.

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Stirring often until it gets crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon into a small bowl.

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Dice half an onion finely.

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Cut hot red pepper in half, remove the seeds.

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Cut pepper into strips.

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Then dice finely.

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Peel garlic cloves, then cut each clove in half and remove a green stem inside, it adds bitter taste to food and it shouldn't be consumed. Mince garlic cloves, set aside.

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I like to prep all the ingredients before I start making pasta.

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Chop parley finely.

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Make the sauce: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the pan, add onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until softened but not browned.

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Add hot red pepper.

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And minced garlic, cook quickly for 30 seconds.

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Pour in wine and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until wine is reduced in half and alcohol evaporates completely, about 3 minutes.

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Then add stock and season your sauce with salt and pepper, bring to a boil.

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Add cockles/or clams to the broth. Sprinkle with herbs, then cover pan with a lid.

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Cook until shells are all open, about 5 minutes. Discard those that didn’t open. Lift up cockles/or clams with a slotted spoon, transfer into a bowl. Set aside.

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Cook pasta until al dente in well-seasoned water. My gorgeous Lagostina's Martelleta Hammered Copper 6-qt. pastiola pot is a star of the process.

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Kitchen tip: It is important to cook pasta to the point that it still has some firmness to the bite. You will continue cooking it for few minutes longer in calm sauce later.

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Make pasta: Add linguine to the clam sauce and continue cooking pasta in it. Keep on swirling pasta in the sauce until it is thickened and significantly reduced. Add extra tablespoon of butter if desired. Squeeze half a lemon. Add cockles/or clams, herbs, crispy pancetta, extra hot red pepper (optional) and mix to combine.

linguine-with-clams

To serve, divide pasta between plates, top with extra herbs, lemon zest and sprinkle with mildly spicy red pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve right away!

linguine-with-clams

 

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Linguine with Clams

recipe details

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. linguine
  • 3 dozen small cockles or 2 dozen clams
  • 2 oz. pancetta, finely diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper, finely diced
  • 5 tablespoons parley/dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup stock
  • Olive oil

Directions

  1. Cook pasta until al dente in well-seasoned water. Kitchen tip: It is important to cook pasta to the point that it still has some firmness to the bite. You will continue cooking it for few minutes longer in calm sauce later.
  2. Make clam sauce: Heat a large wide-sided pan over medium heat, then pour a dash of oil. Add pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often until it gets crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon into a small bowl. Melt 1-tablespoon butter, then add onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add hot red pepper and garlic, cook quickly for 30 seconds. Pour in wine and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until wine is reduced and alcohol evaporates completely, about 3 minutes. Then add stock and season your sauce with salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Add cockles/or clams, cover pan with a lid and cook until shells are all open, about 5 minutes. Discard those that didn’t open. Lift up cockles/or clams with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make pasta: Add linguine to the clam sauce and continue cooking pasta in it. Keep on swirling pasta in the sauce until it is thickened and significantly reduced. Add extra tablespoon of butter if desired. Squeeze half a lemon. Add cockles/or clams, herbs, crispy pancetta, extra hot red pepper (optional) and mix to combine.
  4. To serve, divide pasta between plates, top with extra herbs, lemon zest and sprinkle with mildly spicy red pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve right away!

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