Linguine with White Clam Sauce


Before making this, you must say the following in a sotto voce Homer Simpson voice: “Ummmmmm.  Linguine-with-white-clam-sauce. Aaghgahgahghgagh.”  Yes, there’s nothing quite like it.  I’ve had it in many, many establishments.  My recipe search has taken me from the Toronto Star’s Chef Showcase, to an old Philadelphia Orchestra cookbook, and to places on the internet as well.  And, yeah, yeah, I know, I know.  A real Bon Vivant would use live clams in the shell, but I’m a bit of a wuss and quite squeamish about killing living creatures (mosquitoes excepted) so the good old already-dead-in-the-can variety will have to do.

Serves 4

1 can of baby clams

350g linguine (dried)

30g butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped

½ medium-hot red chilli, finely chopped

100ml dry white wine

Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Zest of ½ a lemon and a spritz of juice

1. Put the linguine into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes,  just under the recommended time, until nearly done.

2. Meanwhile, put half the butter and all of the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and soften the garlic and chilli.

3. Add the drained clams, and turn up the heat. Pour in the wine and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Drain the linguine and add to the sauce along with the remaining butter. Reduce heat, toss well and leave for a minute, then stir through the chopped parsley, lemon zest and juice, season to taste and serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper.

5. If you dare to add parmesan cheese to this, I will hunt you down and play cimbasso excerpts while you [try to] sleep!  (I mean it!)

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