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Friday, January 23, 2009

Linguine and White Clam Sauce

This is one of my favorite meals from my childhood and it is so quick and easy! Because I grew up in Charleston, SC we had plenty of fresh clams, and we all know that warm weather seafood is the best : ) It was always one of those very impromptu meals, my Dad found some fresh clams in the store or after a good day of digging for clams, my little sister and I loved digging for clams and oysters on the Ashley river with our Dad. But now that we live near the Mountains of SC we don’t have as much opportunity to buy fresh. So I have 3 different ways to prepare it, depending on the ingredients I have. All 3 recipes are below but of course fresh is always better!

Recipe #1 Fresh Clam sauce
1 pound box linguine (I like Barilla but any Imported Italian pasta)
2 pounds little neck clams scrubbed – purchase them and keep in your fridge at the most for one day with the bag open so they can breath (here in Greenville purchase at: Publix, Costco, or Whole Foods)
1/2 cup white wine (dry)
1/4 cup clam juice
 Juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic minced or grated
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper and red pepper flakes
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
A lot of fresh parsley leaves chopped (Wal-Mart carries it for under $1.00 a bunch! When you get it: rinse it, dry well, and place in a large cup of water {like a vase of flowers}, store in the fridge for 1 week changing the water as needed)
 lemon wedges and red pepper for the table
Start pasta: Bring a large pot ¾’s full of water to a boil with a good handful of salt-
Meanwhile put the clams in a bowl with 1 gallon of water and 1/3 cup salt, allow to soak for 20 minutes and then rinse well. Discard any dead ones (they won’t close when tapped).

Meanwhile in a frying pan heat the oil and butter add the garlic, over low heat, and cook until lightly golden . Add clam juice, lemon zest and juice, and simmer until slightly reduced. Add salt, red pepper, and black pepper to taste.
Place the clams in a large pot, pour in wine, place over medium high heat, and cook, stirring the clams occasionally, until they start to open and as they do set aside. Finally discard any that refuse to open up. Drain pasta and add to the frying pan with the sauce and cook for a minute or two while stirring and tossing. Add the parsley and toss. Now add the clams on top, a drizzle of olive oil!
Recipe #2 Canned & Fresh Clam Sauce
This recipe is good if you can only get your hands on a small batch of clams. It is the same as recipe #1 except for the following: You only need about a pound or less of fresh clams and 2 small or 1 large cans of clams. The only difference in the preparation is that you also add the  the canned clams along with fresh ones to the frying pan at the very end.

Recipe # 3 Canned Clam Sauce
This recipe is for canned clams and here are the differences from recipes #1: You need 4 small cans of clams- or 2 large  (Wal-Mart has canned clams near the tuna), and 4 fillets of anchovies canned.
You do the same as recipe #1 except for the following: You sauté the anchovies along with the garlic. Then you add the clams at the very end to the frying pan just to heat up.

Buon Appetito!

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