Friday, November 4, 2011

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

In an effort to ward off seafood withdrawal after our week in Hilton Head, Matt and I indulged is some Linguine with White Clam Sauce last night. This simple seafood pasta dish is not only easy to prepare and richly flavored, but also wonderfully nostalgic for me. This recipe was reserved for special occasions during our childhood - it was the standing menu for my parent's anniversary - so, even now, it evokes treasured memories of time spent celebrating round our family table.

To be perfectly honest, I've never asked my mom for her clam sauce recipe (I should!) and have always improvised my own on the few occasions I've been inspired to cook this dish - which isn't as often as I'd like - but I finally wrote down my basic recipe last night and here it is! I like to add mushrooms and wine, but these aren't strictly necessary. If you can get fresh clams, you should definitely substitute (you can make your own 'clam juice' to add, by cooking the clams in a mixture of wine and water and reducing this liquid before adding to the garlic, mushrooms and oil - be sure to strain for sand and grit first!).

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

1/2 lb linguine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (6 1/2 oz) cans chopped clams in juice
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
4 oz mushrooms, sliced (5-6 large mushrooms)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon basil
Flat leaf parsley, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to garnish

In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the linguine until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook until lightly browned. Stir frequently and take care not to burn the garlic. Add the mushrooms and sautee until moistened. Press the juice from the canned clams and add juice to the saucepan. Add wine and basil and cook mixture over medium heat until liquid is greatly reduced and slightly thickened (you want it thick enough to coat and stick to the pasta, not just run off!). Add clams and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Drain cooked pasta and return to saucepan. Toss with sauce to coat, and serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon juice.

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  1. Sounds good! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!

  2. This is seriously making my mouth water! Must make this soon!