Pasta with White Clam Sauce is an all-time favorite at the Loonwell house. Go with the smaller clams, such a Littleneck, and you’ll love the flavor. The Loon is always very concerned about ‘sand in the clams’ (that’s almost a Sondheim song), but I get them from Whole Foods, where the clams are cultivated. Very, very little sand. And run under cold water for about 10 minutes, and you’ll be a-okay. Pasta with White Clam Sauce is so good!
Pasta with White Clam Sauce
- 1/4 cup of good quality olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
- 24 Littleneck clams rinsed and scrubbed
- 8 fresh basil leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley chopped
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup of dry white wine
- 2 1/4 cups of clam juice
- Fresh linguine or 12 ounces of dried linguine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the garlic, and cook it, stirring for about 1 minute or until is lightly golden. Don't burn the garlic!
- Add the clams, basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
- Raise the heat to high and cook the mixture, stirring for about 1 minute, or until the ingredients are well combined.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan.
- Cook the sauce, shaking the pan occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove the cover and add the wine.
- Cook the sauce uncovered for 1 minutes.
- Add the clam juice and simmer the sauce, covered for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all of the clams have opened.
- With a small knife, pry open any that don't open, unless they are firmly closed, in which case discard them. Remove the clams from all the shells, except about 6 or 7 of them.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot filled with boiling salt water, cook the pasta (fresh for 3 minutes, dried for 12 minutes - until al dente.). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Drain the pasta and transfer to a shallow bowl or platter.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
- Immediately ladle the sauce over the pasta and mix in 1/4 cup of the reserved water.
- Mix in the clams and place the clams in the shells on top.
- Add more water, if desired.
- Serve at once!