Get this delicious chopped clam and linguine meal in 30-minutes. The sauce is wonderfully flavored with white wine, clam juice, and butter. Great for a busy weeknight!
I used to eat whole belly clams when I was young. One of my parent's friends had a huge backyard clambake every summer, and every year we would attend. I whole-heartedly participated in the consumption of freshly steamed clams dipped in hot melted butter. The little bivalves were tender, buttery, and tasted like the sea. Those were the good old days when I was oblivious to the world of biology.
I discovered that I loved science when I took Biology. There was so much to learn: cell division, microorganisms, plant life cycle, animal classification, cell structure, anatomy, DNA, RNA, the circulatory system...the whole shabang. I was fascinated. I was intrigued. I was mesmerized.
My newfound love of science was not without its pitfalls. Along with it came the development of my germaphobic tendencies. It started with more frequent hand washing and avoidance of doorknobs. Throughout the years, it blossomed into other Howie Mandel-esque inclinations of which I will not bore you with today.
Freshman year was also the beginning of the end of my whole clam and mussel eating days. Up until that point, I never gave a thought to what I was eating when I ate a whole clam. Once I learned exactly what I was gulping down, I was grossed out. Essentially, when you eat a clam, you are consuming the entire organism (minus the shells). I'll stop there since I don't want to turn anyone else off from enjoying their love of clams, mussels, or oysters.
I will, however, eat them in their non-whole-bodied forms. Fried clam strips, clam cakes, stuffed quahogs are still on my list of loves. As long as there is no "belly" involved, it is okay. I also enjoy pasta with clam sauce, which brings us to today's feature.
The dish starts with a quick sauté of olive oil, shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovy paste. I like to use anchovies in the base of my seafood recipes as it adds a depth of flavor. The white wine sauce in this linguine pasta dish contains not only wine, but clam juice, butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
I tested this recipe with both frozen uncooked clams and canned clams. To be honest, I prefer the canned ones. If you prefer fresh, make sure you rinse the clams off prior to adding to the sauce, and be sure to cook them a couple minutes longer. Even though the ones I used indicated that they were washed, I found that they can be gritty. I don't have that problem with chopped clams from a can.
This is a quick and simple meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes. It is great for a busy weeknight or any night of the week. If you don't use wine, no worries, just eliminate it altogether and use all clam juice. Enjoy!