Saturday, January 15, 2011

Linguine with Clam Sauce

This recipe was contributed by Chelsea Fisher.  Here's what she has to say about it:

Don't be afraid of the "clams" in the title! It's a very good, garlicky pasta dish. I got it from my neighbors who lived in Italy for several years when they were young whipper-snappers, and it's my husband's absolute favorite. I served it to my extended family, including some outspoken family members who are picky eaters. One of them wasn't crazy about the texture of the clams (not her exact words), but she loved the flavor and made it herself just using clam juice without the clams.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

1/2 cup butter (or margarine) 
½ cup butter (or margarine)
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cans (6 ½ oz each) chopped clams
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. dry basil leaves
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
(or use 2 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning instead of the separate herbs)
one bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups once you're done chopping)
1 lb. linguine
Boiling salted water

Following package directions, cook linguine in a large kettle of boiling, salted water until al dente; then drain.  
-Heat butter and oil in a 2-quart pan over low heat.  Add garlic and sautee about 4 minutes.  Don’t let butter scorch (which is why I use margarine-- it doesn't scorch).  
-Drain juice from 2 cans clams into butter mixture. Increase heat to medium, add oregano, basil, pepper, and parsley to pan and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  
-Add drained clams and heat through. 
Toss linguine with clam sauce.  Makes 5 or 6 large servings.

Two more notes:

- The store sells chopped clams and minced clams (we like Snow brand the best). Both types work just fine, but the difference is that chopped clams are bigger pieces, and minced clams are smaller and less chewy. I prefer the minced, but both are lovely.
- It works best to let the pasta sit 5-10 minutes before you serve it. This way, the sauce soaks in a bit and doesn't just run to the bottom of the dish.

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