Tuesday, September 19, 2006
This photo certainly does not do justice to this dish, which is my all-time favorite. I tried. I photoshopped. No dice. You'll have to use a little imagination.
I'm not sure when it happened (or why) but linguine vongole became my favorite comfort food some time ago and I cannot resist ordering it whenever I see it on the menu. This means that I've been to many great Italian restaurants and have deprived myself of venturing further than this dish. I simply must have it. I love the garlicky flavor and the sweet little clams. I love digging out the little clams and the satisfying clank of the shells on the plate as the remnants pile up. I've tried it at home to satisfy a craving a number of times and Martha's recipe hits the spot best. It's quick and easy. The only time consuming part is scrubbing the cockles to remove sand and grime. I made it last week and we slurped it up with a crusty whole wheat baguette. Then we ate left-overs standing in the kitchen the next day and it was just as good (if not better)!
Serves 4 to 6
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 pounds Manila clams or cockles, scrubbed and rinsed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta, and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds; do not let garlic brown. Stir in parsley, zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper; cook for 30 seconds. Add wine, and simmer for 1 minute. Add clams; increase heat to medium-high, and cook, covered, until clams begin to open, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butter until incorporated. Add pasta to skillet, and toss to coat, adding reserved cooking water a tablespoon at a time to loosen, if desired. Transfer to a large serving bowl, and serve.