linguine with clams (linguine alle vongole)

linguine with clamsThis is a busy time of the year with most of us running around doing last minute errands in preparation for the holidays.  When I’m short for time, pasta is my savior and the time it takes to cook it I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  Toss in some clams and you’re experiencing a Venetian staple that started off as peasant food.  Clams have roughly the same protein and fat content as chicken but contain more vitamins and minerals.  Serve this delicious and light dinner with a side of salad, sit back, and relax.

Well folks, 2015 has been an interesting year for me and my husband.  I hope all who stop by to take a peak at my blog are reflecting on the year and that you take a moment or two to reach out to family and friends with a warm embrace.

Xmas 1Serves 2
1/2 lb. linguine
1 lb. little neck clams
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot)
oven dried cherry tomato halves, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup
handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped

Cook linguine according to packet instructions.  Or check out how to cook perfect pasta every time.

While the pasta is cooking, in large sauté pan over moderately high heat, add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and butter. When butter has melted add garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add clams and red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, oven dried tomatoes, and some of the parsley (leave some for garnish). Simmer, covered, until clams open about 7 to 8 minutes – discard any that do not open.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain linguine and add to pan. Toss until linguine is mixed well with clam mixture. Add, if necessary, some of reserved cooking water to keep from becoming too dry. Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley, and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Substitute fresh clams with bottled or canned clams if fresh is not available.  Enjoy!