My husband and I are clam fanatics. Whenever we go out to eat, if clams are on the menu, we get them. One of my favorite pasta dishes is Linguine with White Clam Sauce (actually, Spaghetti with Anchovies is good competition for my all time favorite pasta dish). I like Linguine with Red Clam Sauce too.
Occasionally, I’ll make Linguine with White Clam Sauce using whole belly or chopped clams. I’ll stop at BJ’s and buy the mega can of chopped clams, and for a short while, we’re in clam heaven.
The best way to make white clam sauce is to use little neck clams. I usually get about two dozen little necks, and then add about 1 cup of chopped or whole belly clams. The little necks steam in clam juice and wine, adding extra flavor to the sauce. I made this dish earlier this evening, and, well, my husband and I ate all of it. He ate most of it, but I did have seconds.
In July, I’m going to Rhode Island for a rather large family reunion. When I lived there years ago, we spent time one summer digging for clams, steaming clams, eating clam cakes, and making clam chowder. This summer, while everyone else is bonding at the reunion, I’ll be in search of the perfect clam.
Linguine with Little Neck Clams Recipe
- 1 pound linguine
- 5 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 healthy pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and seeds
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 dozen little neck clams
- ½ cup Pinot Grigio
- 2 cups clam juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped or whole belly clams
- 2 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Bring water and 1 tablespoon salt to a full boil. Add linguine, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes, or until the linguine is al dente. Drain well.
While pasta is cooking, brown garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil over medium heat. Add Pinot Grigio, clam juice, lemon juice, and little neck clams. Increase heat to medium high, and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until clams open. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chopped or whole belly clams, parsley, and salt. Cook for 1 minute longer. Pour over linguine. Adjust salt if needed.