Saturday, May 9, 2009

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

I like white. Tom likes red. I gave in and made red for him. Because he is a good guy and has been helping me with lots of projects around the house. But I still like white better.

I learned to make linguine with white clam sauce back in the days when I was broke and living outside Boston. It's a cheap and easy dish, more assembly than cooking. If you can open a can and chop, you can do this recipe. But you have to like clams and their texture, as they are the major flavor ingredient.

In making the red version for Tom, I learned that the only difference is the addition of crushed tomatoes.

The first step is to carefully cook the garlic in olive oil without burning it. When you will begin to smell the garlic as it infuses the oil, then quickly move on to adding the wine, clam juice and red pepper flakes. Today I added thyme, but usually I add basil.

Reduce the sauce. About 5 minutes.

If you are making a red sauce, add the tomatoes and cook until thickened, about 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the linguine in salted boiling water.

Near the end, add the clams and cook until warmed through, about a minute. Add lots of fresh parsley. Pepper, and salt, if needed. Drain the pasta and add it to same pot as the sauce. Mix thoroughly and serve.

A simple salad goes well with this dish.

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce
from Food & Wine Quick from Scratch series
Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, chopped (we use lots)
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 t. dried thyme (I prefer basil)
pinch dried red-pepper flakes
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (28 ounce can)
1 cup bottle clam juice
1 1/4 t. salt, more if needed
3/4 pound chopped clams, drained ( about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound linguine

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