Thursday, October 2

Linguine & Clams

The classic Italian dish linguine con vongole, or pasta with steamed clams

Linguine con vongole

Linguine and clams, done right, is one of my favorite dishes of all times. The concept is very simple: pasta tossed with clams that have simmered in a garlicky white wine sauce. It's quick, easy, and cheap enough to make on any weeknight, but it's still fancy enough to serve for a date or dinner party. The best version I ever ate was on our honeymoon in Venice (see more details here), where we had it as a lunch special at a small neighborhood restaurant. The key is to make sure that everything is well seasoned. Season your pasta water with a lot of salt - it should taste like salt water - it will season the linguine as it cooks and it also add flavor to the sauce at the end. Scrub your clams well and rinse them under cold water for a few minutes to make sure no grit ends up in the final dish. Other than those details, it's a super simple dish that's great to enjoy for lunch or dinner with a cold glass of white wine.

More Clam Recipes:
- Springy Linguine & Clams
- Roasted Clams with Favas & Sherry
- Malaysian Black Pepper Clams

Linguine & Clams (Linguine con Vongole):
  • Wash and scrub 2 1/2 lbs. littleneck or manila clams and discard any that are open.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season generously with salt, and cook 1 lb. linguine pasta until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in 3 cloves minced garlic and a large pinch of red chile flakes. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant but not brown.
  • Add in the clams, 1/2 c. dry white wine, and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the clams open and the wine has reduced by half.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. pasta cooking water.
  • Add the pasta to the pot with the clams, some of the pasta water, and 2 tbsp. cold butter.
  • Turn off the heat and toss until the butter melts. Add more water as needed to moisten.
  • Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  • Divide onto plates and serve.

Serves four