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Linguine with White Clam Sauce

 

There is no better way to enjoy the taste of summer than with a plate of briny, garlicky clams and pasta.  Make sure to toast up some bread to sop up any leftover juices.  Serve with a salad of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.

Serves 4

 

28 littleneck clams, scrubbed

7 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 small hot chilis minced or a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup dry white wine

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. linguine

1 tbsp. salt

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil and add 1 tbsp. salt.

2. Open 24 clams over a bowl with a sieve to strain the clam liquid.  Save 4 clams for garnish.  Set the strained liquid aside and chop the clams.  Need help opening the clams?  Follow our handy guide here.

3. Add the linguine to boiling water.  The clam sauce should take the same length of time to cook as the linguine. 

 4.  Saute the garlic in the live oil over medium heat, taking care not to burn. Add chilis or pepper flakes, if using.

5.  Add the minced clams and saute to heat through.  Add black pepper and white wine.  Add reserved clam juice.  

6.  Open the last four clams without detaching from the shells and toss them into the sauce.  Opening them helps to speed up their cooking time.

7.  Add parsley and basil.  Lower heat to medium.  

8.  Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water, then once linguine is al dente, drain and toss with sauce in pan.  Add a little pasta cooking water if sauce seems dry.  

9.  Divide pasta onto four plates, garnishing each with one of the whole clams and a drizzle of good olive oil.

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