Linguine & Clams

This is sure to be a crowd pleaser!  It takes less than 45 minutes to create this decadent dish.  It is so easy, your teenager can make it.  Speaking of, there is no reason for Mom to slave away in the kitchen.  Make dinner prep a family affair.  Time in the kitchen offers your children life skills and gives you an invaluable time to connect while building memories.

Note: Gluten free when prepared with gluten free pasta.  Dairy free when substituting a firm sheep cheese for parmigiana.  Hot pepper flakes wake this dish up if you are not avoiding nightshades.

Ingredients:

  • 5 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and purged
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter or dairy free butter substitute
  • 2 cups chicken or seafood stock
  • 1 box linguine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 an onion chopped
  • 2 tsp of lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmigiana OR Manchego (if cow dairy free)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in small amount of stock
  • Olive oil

Total Time: 45 min

Yield: 6-8 servings

Directions:

  1. Soak clams in salted water for about 20 minutes.  Rinse under running water and be sure to scrub the shells.  This should remove the bulk of the sand and grit.
  2. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil over high heat for your pasta.  Add a dash of olive oil.
  3. Coat a large skillet with olive oil.  Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat.   Add  a pinch of salt, 10 cracks of pepper and saute for 2 minutes.  Don’t let your garlic burn.
  4. Add the half the stock and half of the wine.  Allow to reduce by half
  5. Add remaining stock and wine.  Add the clams and half of the herbs.  Cover and allow to simmer over medium heat until the clams open (approximately 10 minutes).

  6. Remove clams from the liquid and reserve.  Discard any that did not open.  Drop your pasta in the boiling water.
  7. Add the remaining wine and scrape the bottom of the pain to incorporate any solids.  Allow the wine to cook off (approximately 5 minutes). Add the dissolved corn starch and stir until thickened.  Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove your pasta when Al dente (approximately 8 minutes) and drain.  Add the pasta and clams (in the shell) back to the pan and toss.
  9. To serve and top with herbs and cheese!

Tip: We don’t get the most wonderful clams here in landlocked Nashville.  Often they are super salty and gritty.  I soak them as described above.  Then I steam them in pure water until the shells barely begin to part.  I pull them and finish them in the stock.  This extra step seems to pull most of the grit and excess sales from the meat.

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