Linguine and Clams

July 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

I have 2 ways of making Linguine and Clams (aka Linguine alle Vongole), a simple version and a more elaborate version. Guess which one I make the most often? Yup, the simple version.  Not because I’m lazy but it’s because sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients and no time to go to the store. So I found a way to make a decent enough “last minute” version when I have to throw something together fast. The picture above is the simple version.

The taste between the two, of course, is a bit different. But both are very straightforward and comes together quickly. Here’s both for you to choose from. Both recipes serves 2-3 people.

Simple Version

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb linguine
  • 2 (6.5 oz can) chopped clams, drained with juices reserved (Snow’s brand is a usual staple)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I like a lot of garlic!)
  • 1 teaspoon dry Italian mix herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram)
  • pepper flakes to taste (optional, see side note below)
  • kosher salt for boiling pasta and seasoning to taste
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock

Directions:

Bring water to boil in a large pot. When water is boiling, add salt (about a handful). The water should taste salty. Add pasta and cook just before it reaches al dente stage. When you bite into it, the center of the pasta should feel just a tad bit undercooked. The pasta will finish off in the clam sauce. I find this method makes the paste much more flavorful and doesn’t add any additional time to cooking.

While the pasta is boiling, heat oil and butter in a large saute pan on medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add in reserved clam juice, chicken stock and dry herbs. Heat sauce until bubbling/boiling. Add drained pasta to pan. Toss and cook pasta until al dente, about 1-2 minutes. Add chopped clams, toss and cook until the clams are heated through, another 30-60 seconds.  If the pasta is sticking a bit, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the pasta and toss thoroughly. Serve hot.

Elaborate Version

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb linguine
  • 1 lb cherrystone clams, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 (6.5 oz can) chopped clams, drained with juices reserved (Snow’s brand is a usual staple)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup good white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I like a lot of garlic!)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian flat parsley leaves, reserve half for garnishing
  • pepper flakes to taste (optional, see side note below)
  • kosher salt for boiling pasta and seasoning to taste

Bring water to boil in a large pot. When water is boiling, add salt (about a handful). The water should taste salty. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions, preferably to al dente. The pasta should be closer to al dente than the simple version.

While the pasta is boiling, heat oil in a large saute pan on medium high heat. Add garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add cherrystone clams, chicken broth, wine, chopped herbs and pepper flakes, bring to a boil. Cover and cook until clams open, about 3-5 minutes. Discard any unopen clams.

Add chopped clams and drained pasta to pan. Simmer and toss for about 30 seconds. If the pasta is sticking a bit, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the pasta and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with reserved chopped parsley and serve hot.

On a side note, recently I have fallen in love with Hawaiian Chili Peppers. I don’t know much about this variety of peppers except that it’s used to make Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water. Husband of my friend, L, got back from a recent visit to Oahu. He brought back some dried Hawaiian Chili Pepper from L’s mother’s chili bush. L generously shared some of dried peppers with me (mahalo, L!!) and we have been using it on practically everything!  I’ve grounded some up and kept a few whole.  Here’s what these little burst of fantastic heat look like.

These peppers have a nice punch to them (at least for me), and a slight hint of sweetness that’s really addictive. The first time I tasted the pepper was on a very hot and sweet beef jerky that was sold in bulk at the old Bisher’s Meat store in Poway. I used to slurge on those every week.  But that was many years ago and they have long since stopped carrying them (boo!). I’m going to try to grow a seed or two and hopefully will have my own stash of these addictive chilis.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Linguine and Clams at CAB Cooks.

meta

%d bloggers like this: