I love to eat a little lighter in the summer. No heavy sauces with lots a cream, or a meat ragu. One of my favorite most flavorful dishes is the Linguine with clams. Very simple, without to many ingredients to mask the flavors of all of the individual flavors. I have had it in many different regions and found it to be quite similar, depending on how far south you travel it will usually be a little spicier in the regions where the sun is hotter. Here in the Pacific Northwest we are very fortunate being able to purchase fresh clams at almost any market or fish store. They are usually very small, but very tender. We are in the tomato growing season so I always recommend to use the fresh ingredients out of your garden to get that burst of freshness on your palate. I will recommend a nice Rosato to compliment this delicious meal.
- 3 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt
- 1 pound linguine
- 12 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 pound New Zealand cockles or 24 Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 (14-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice, juice reserved and tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
In large pot over moderately high heat, combine 8 quarts of water to boil and salt. Bring to boil, then add linguine and cook to 1 minute short of al dente according to package directions (pasta should still be quite firm).
Meanwhile, in large sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat 6 tablespoons extra- olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add clams and 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes and juice, and 1/2 cup parsley and simmer, uncovered, just until clams open, 7 to 8 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain linguine and add to pan. Simmer, tossing occasionally, until linguine is just tender, about 1 minute. If necessary, add some of reserved cooking water to keep moist. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and extra-virgin olive oil, tossing to coat. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.