Linguine alle Vongole
In this classic pasta dish, linguine is tossed with clams, garlic, white wine, and lemon, for a light and delicious dinner!
Making this dish reminds me so fondly of the time I spent as a teenager working my summers at Pennini’s restaurant in my hometown. It’s funny to think back on it because at the time, all I wanted was a job. Any job. A minimum wage job was fine by me.
I thought, you’ll pay me $8/hour to plonk different kinds of lettuce and salad toppings down onto a plate? YEAH, I’ll do that. (whatever!)
But pretty soon I became very curious about the different ingredients the chefs played with. I watched chef Derek pull out a container of white sauce from the walk-in refrigerator and I remember asking, “What is that?”
“This is a bechamel sauce.”
“It’s made by whisking scalded milk into a roux.”
what the heck is a roux? I went home to google “roo” (as you might guess, it didn’t turn up anything) but I did spell bechamel correctly, and that’s when I learned about my very first mother sauce.
As I worked at the restaurant, I was treated with little tastes of various dishes and my favorite ended up being the linguine alle vongole, a pasta dish made with clams and lots of garlic. Simple as it may sound, this dish is incredibly flavorful and pungent.
Basically, you cook fresh clams in heaps of minced garlic, white wine, clam juice, and lemon, add your cooked noodles to that pan, and throw in a bunch of parsley.
Then, you toss and eat =)
Linguine alle Vongole
- 1 lb linguine
- 2 dozen littleneck clams
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup clam juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup parsley
- salt and pepper
- Soak the clams in salted water for 30 minutes. Rinse and scrub them well with a stiff brush.
- Get a skillet that has a lid, and place the olive oil, butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the pan. Heat over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the white wine, clam juice, and lemon juice and raise the heat to medium high. Add the scrubbed clams and cover the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the clams open (if the clams don’t open, you can cook them for another couple minutes, but if they don’t open at all, throw them out, since this means they were dead before cooking). Remove the clams with a slotted spoon, and bump the heat up to high. Reduce the cooking liquid for a few minutes, until you have about 3 tbsp of liquid there.
- Cook the linguine to al dente in a big pot of salted boiling water, then use tongs to add the noodles directly to the clam sauce pan (the starchy water that comes with the noodles helps create a sauce). Toss to coat, add the clams back in, and throw in the parsley. Season with pepper. Devour and enjoy!