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Mar 22, 2005 02:58 AM

Linguini With Clam Sauce

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I'm looking for a recipe for linguini with clam sauce, and while I searched the net, there was such a wide variety of recipes that came up, I wasn't sure which would yield the best response.

There is a limitation, we don't consume any alcohol and many of the recipes that looked good asked for white wine. What could I substitute in place of this, and what is your favourite method of making this dish.

Right now I have a can of baby clams, although I plan to shop for other ingredients which I don't have yet.

Thanks so much,

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  1. Here is how I make mine - no alcohol, although I do use fresh clams.

    serves 2
    6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
    olive oil
    50 - 100 small clams (I like Mahogany's or Peruvian)
    fresh parsley chopped (about 1 tbsp)

    Heat olive oil and garlic in a saute pan over very low heat and simmer garlic. Do not let the garlic brown. I like to cook the garlic very slowly.
    Meanwhile - Scrub clams and place in a pot with enough water to cover clams. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove clams as soon as they start to pop open. Remove clams from shells and rinse to remove any additional sand. Line a sieve with a paper towel and strain the water from the clam pot into a measuring cup.

    Raise skillet heat to medium and add 1/2 - 3/4 cup of clam juice to pan and reduce by half. Add clams and parsley s&p to taste. Serve over linguine with parmesan cheese.

    If you are using canned clams, I would just add the clams with their juice to the garlic and maybe a bottle of additional clam juice to make the sauce.

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hippirep

      The recipe I use is from Marcella Hazan - like the one above, but also a small amount of chopped plum tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and basil added at the end. I would just forgo the wine and add clam juice instead or a little chicken stock instead. I have tried it with jarred clams, and the fresh ones really are much better, if you have a chance to try them. Also, I think the parmesan might take away a bit from the natural taste of the clams - Italians don't add cheese to seafood pastas - but to each his own, of course.


      1. re: Hippirep

        I would not cover the clams with water, but steam them in a smaller amount of water until they open. The resulting broth will be richer and make the dish more flavorful.

      2. For a very quick and yummy dish, saute some chopped garlic in a few T of olive oil, add the clams and broth and about 1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley and simmer while the linguine is cooking. Add the drained pasta to the clams, add S&P and cook for another minute. Top with freshly grated cheese (I don't care if its a no-no, I like it).

        1. Get some olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes and either a lemon or (if you allow vinegar) white wine or sherry vinegar (my choice). You may need additional clam juice as well.

          Crush 4-6 cloves of garlic and put in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil and let rest for 30 minutes while you bring water to a boil for the linguine
          Pour garlic and oil into a sauce pan and simmer until lightly golden
          Drain the clams and add the liquid to the sauce pan (I like to start with about 1 cup) bring to a strong simmer and reduce by half
          Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
          Add lemon juice or vinegar to your taste, simmer to incorporate flavors
          Add clams to just heat through then remove from heat
          Pour over linguine, add fresh parsley, toss and serve

          1. Whatever method of cooking the clams you choose you are welcome to try my little secret: substitute razor clams for whatever clams you are using. Unless you are planning a presentation that requires serving the clams in their shells (and since you are starting with canned clams I will guess not) razor clams have more meat and flavour per pound than anything else. They are also amazing with black bean sauce and make a great clam chowder.

            Oh, and, as one Italian chef told me, if you put cheese on seafood your mother in heaven will weep.

            1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I have bought the ingredients, and will be having it for dinner tomorrow night.

              Thanks again!