For a quick dinner last night, I made linguine with red clam sauce ---with a twist.
I used our homemade roasted tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes --- and it worked very well. Tom says he loved it. I sort of like the brighter, lighter version myself, but if it makes him happy, I am happy.
Linguine with clam sauce, red or white, is a really simple, fast dish to make. You just need to buy canned clams and a bottle of clam juice -- they are in the same aisle as canned tuna fish. The other items I usually have on hand. Then it's a matter of boiling water for the pasta while you create the clam sauce in a large skillet.
I started with a recipe from the Food & Wine's Quick from Scratch Fish & Shellfish cookbook, and adapted it for our ingredients.
Linguine with Red Clam Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, chopped (I use jar garlic when I am in a hurry, but fresh would be better)
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 t. dried thyme (sometimes I use basil instead)
pinch red pepper flakes (add more if you like it spicy)
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (28 ounce can)(I used our homemade roasted sauce)
1 cup bottled clam juice (I used one bottle)
salt, if needed
3/4 pound chopped clams, drained (about 1 1/2 cups) (I used two cans but three would be better)
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 t. pepper
3/4 pound linguine (I used one package fresh linguine)
Start of large pot of water for the linguine.
Then, in a large skillet, heat oil over moderately low heat (so you don't burn your garlic). Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the wine, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, and clam juice. Raise the heat to moderate and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add the clams and bring back to a simmer. Continue simmer until the clams are just done, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the parsley and black pepper. Season, if needed.
Add lots of salt to your water when it comes to boil. Cook your pasta per the package directions. Dry takes about 10-12 minutes. Ours only took 2 minutes because it was "fresh". Better to be on the al dente side.
I take it directly from the pot into the sauce and let is soak up all the juices. And stir to coat. Then lift out individual portions of pasta and spoon sauce and extra parsley on top.