Sunday, September 03, 2006

Linguini and White Clam Sauce

One of The Bug's favorite dishes is Linguine and Clam Sauce. In fact, this weekend Juiceboy is off camping, and I gave The Bug his choice of any dinner. And that included eating out? His choice? You guessed it. Linguine and Clam Sauce. My "Fast & Cheap" version is incredibly fast and easy. Watch for when your supermarket puts the tinned clams on sale.

Linguine and Clam Sauce
Eyeball all amounts, adjust to your taste.
Since you'll cook the sauce on really low heat, go ahead and use that non-stick saucepan.

Put lots of fresh water, dosed with kosher salt, onto boil.
When it boils, add and cook 10-16oz of linguine.

In the meantime:

  • In a big saucepan melt about one and a half tablespoons butter over low heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and about three cloves of finely chopped garlic.
  • Sweat garlic over low heat until fragrant and supple. Do not turn up the heat past medium low, and if butter starts bubbling, turn it down. There's nothing worse than browned garlic in this dish.
  • While garlic softens, open two tins minced or chopped clams (I like the ones in the yellow tuna-sized tins. You'll find them with the tuna in fact.) RESERVE THE LIQUID.
  • When garlic is softened, add a shake of red pepper flakes. Go easy on this, you can always add more. Heat for 30 seconds.
  • Then add the clam liquid, plus one whole bottle clam juice, which is also found in the tuna section. Be sure to shake the bottle.
  • Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil.
  • Add about a half bunch of well chopped parsley. (This is a great use for parsley.) Don't worry about the stems--just wash the parsley, shake it, and chop away. My mom uses scissors, I just use my knife.
  • Immediately turn down to medium/medium-low. Check your pasta.
  • Now, shake out some cornstarch in a measuring cup. About 1/8 cups worth and add enough cold white wine, chicken broth, or water to liquify. Mix till smooth.
  • Turn the heat up again till it's simmering and add your starch mixture. But be careful! Add a bit at a time, as this will thicken your sauce faster than you can imagine. Stir like crazy as you add it.
  • Once thickened to your liking (we like it THICK), turn off the heat and add freshly ground black pepper and the clams. Please don't cook the clams unless you like Linguine and Rubber Bits.
Add-ins to consider: fresh basil, finely chopped white onion, fresh clams, even thick-cut and diced bacon.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread and a great salad.

Should serve four.

1 comment:

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