Preparing this quick and comforting dish, redolent of garlic, herbs and wine, is one of our favorite ways to celebrate National Pasta Day. When buying clams, they should smell like the ocean, be tightly closed and not be chipped or cracked. It is also important to discard any clams that do not close to the touch when raw, or that do not open after cooking.
Linguine with Clams
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. (500 g) linguine
- 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry white wine
- 1 bottle (8 fl. oz./250 ml) clam juice
- 5 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook according to the package directions. Drain well and set aside.
2. In a large fry pan with a tight-fitting lid, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add about half of the minced garlic and sauté just until soft, about 1 minute.
3. Pour in the wine and clam juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the covered pan a few times, until the clams open, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard any clams that didn’t open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a plate or cutting board. Put 1 1/2 dozen of the clams in their shells in a metal bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. When the rest of the clams are cool enough to handle, remove the clam meat from the shells and set aside.
4. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and set aside. Rinse out the pan and place it back on the stove over medium-high heat. Warm the butter and the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and add the remaining garlic. Cook until the garlic is just softened, about 1 minute. Add the strained broth and bring to a low simmer.
5. Return the cooked clam meat to the pan. Return to a low simmer and toss in the cooked pasta, the parsley and the oregano. Cook, stirring well to incorporate, just until everything is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish, stir in the Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper, and nestle all the clams in their shells into the pasta. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 6.
For this and more ideas for pasta dishes you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pasta Night, by Kate McMillan