Thursday, April 13, 2017


Sometimes, recipes with the simplest ingredients are the best . . . clams, olive oil, peperoncini (red pepper flakes), garlic, white wine, and Italian parsley. You really taste the wonderful fresh clams this way. If you live on the east coast of the USA, littleneck clams are the best for this recipe. If you live on the west coast of the USA, manila clams are the best and are prized for their sweetness. Linguine alle Vongole.

3 dozen (36) large manila clams or littlenecks

½ lb linguine
2 t sea salt

½ cup water

2 T extra-light olive oil or avocado oil                                                                       
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ t red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T unsalted butter
2 T minced Italian parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil for finishing

Place clams in a bowl, uncovered, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
This lets the clams relax and open up, in the cold environment of your refrigerate.
Remove from refrigerator and pour cold water into the bowl. This will purge the clams of any sand. Drain and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sea salt and boil the linguine until al dente (about 6 to 7 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Separate about 12 of the largest clams that will be placed around the edge of your two pasta bowls and set aside.

In a saucepan, add the ½ cup water and the rest of the smaller clams. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, partially cover, and let clams steam until opened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove clams with a large slotted spoon to a cutting board and let cool.
When cool enough to handle, remove clams from shells and roughly chop. 
Set aside in a small bowl and pour the clam broth into another bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet, add the oil and sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat for about 1 minute.
Add the wine and reserved clam broth.
Add the larger clams, partially cover and let the clams steam until opened, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the clams and set aside in a bowl; cover to keep warm.
Add the reserved chopped clams to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, add the butter and parsley. Simmer one minute then add the drained pasta and heat through for another minute.
Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and nest the pasta between each bowl.
Arrange the larger clams in their shells around the pasta. 
Equally pour the juice and chopped clams from the skillet over the pasta in the bowls and serve.

Serves 2

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