Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Linguine with Clam Sauce

This steamy bowl of pasta will comfort you on the coldest of winter days.  It's easy AND elegant.  I almost have to laugh at myself for being intimidated by making a clam sauce at home.  There was nothing hard about this.  And canned clams?  A bit pricey but surely easier and cheaper than fresh and I couldn't tell a difference.  I guess if you wanted to make the presentation more impressive you could put a few fresh steamed clams in the dish.  It took minutes to cook and was restaurant quality.  Watchout, Maggiano's and Bravo, you may be my favorite Italian restaurants now but I might not need you anymore soon ;).

I personally added a touch of white wine to my sauce because I feel like that's a standard ingredient in most white clam sauces?  If you'd rather you can leave it out and I'm sure it will still taste fantastic.  I also added some dried basil because what Italian dish doesn't need some basil??  Oh, and I used spaghetti because my store was out of linguine.  How that's possible I don't know...

By the way, I thought this dish tasted EVEN BETTER the next day when I reheated it in the microwave for lunch.  Crazy, I know.

One Year Ago: Cincinnati Style Chili, Chinese Chicken Corn Soup, and Spicy Rapid Roast Chicken

Linguine with Clam Sauce
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  • 12 oz. linguine pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams, juices reserved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan and fresh parsley, for serving
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter is completely melted. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved clam juice and if desired, dry white wine to the pan, bring to a simmer, and reduce by about half. With the heat on medium-low, stir in the clams, heavy cream, and basil. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Portion the pasta into serving bowls. Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta and top with grated Parmesan and parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Source: Very slightly modified from Annie's Eats originally from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine by Jeff Smith

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