I present you with the recipe to one of my favorite dishes of all time!! Linguine with clams!
To be honest, I went most of my life without ever trying this dish and thought it was kind of weird. But then I tasted the linguine with clams at Carbone and I was like OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!
This recipe is based off the Carbone recipe ( I got that insider info 😉 Thanks Chef Maju #girlfriendperks), just simplified a bit.
It starts off with about 4-5 pounds of clams
Clams are packed in sand so it’s important that you rinse the clams thoroughly! You can use any medium-small type clam for this recipe. These clams were called Cherrystones. I believe they can be found at most fish markets.
Then the next step is to steam the clams. I like to cook all the clams ahead of time and remove them all from the shell but you can leave some in the shell for presentation sake.
In the pot went 1/2 cup of clam juice with the clams. I covered them with a lid over medium high heat. After about 2 minutes the clams should start to open up. Remove the clams immediately once they are open.
Next I combine the cooked clams (you can chop these up a bit if you want, but I chose to leave them whole) with fresh parsley, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Pasta mise! Confit onions, garlic, butter, red pepper flakes, parsley, reserved clam juice, lemons, and dry white wine.
The confit onions are simply onions cooked low and slow in a lot of olive oil until they are nice and soft. You don’t want to get any color on the onions (the ones I cooked had a bit of color..but that’s ok hah), you just want to enhance the sweet flavor of the onion by cooking them slowly. When the pasta goes in the water that’s when you should start your pasta sauce. First step is to heat up the confit onions (with most of the olive oil they were cooked in) along with the chopped garlic.
Then I deglaze the pan with white wine and clam juice, then add in the cooked clam mixture, red pepper flakes, half of the parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
When the pasta is al dente, you toss the pasta directly into the pan and cook on med-low for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce and pasta become one. This is when you want to add a bit more clam stock, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
So. much. flavor. Topped with more parsley, maybe another pinch of red pepper flakes, and one last squeeze of lemon. Perfection!
Linguine with Clams
- 5 pounds of clams, (littlenecks, cherrystones, topnecks, for example)
- 1 pound of dried linguine
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin or diced
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1.5 tbsp red pepper flakes
- Juice of 2 lemons (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 medium bunch flat leaf parsley, minced (about 1 cup total)
- 3 tbsp butter
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup clam juice (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- In a small sauce pot over the lowest heat setting, cook the onions in 1 cup of olive oil for about 30-45 minutes. You don’t want the onions to get any color, just nice and translucent and reduced down in volume by about half. Once cooked remove from the pan with all the olive oil and set aside.
- Rinse the clams thoroughly, then place clams in a large pot fitted with a lid. Pour 1/2 cup clam juice (or just ½ cup water) in the pan. Cover and place over medium high heat. After about 2 minutes the clams will start to open, once open remove the clams from the pot. Some clams will cook before others so remove some clams that are open, cover the pot again, and repeat the process until all clams have opened. If any clams refuse to open that means they are dead and you need to discard them. Pour the liquid in the pan into a measuring cup and save for later.
- Once clams are cooled slightly, remove them from the shell and leave whole or slice in half. Mix the cooked clams with 2 tbsp of the olive oil from the onions, ¼ cup of the fresh chopped parsley, the dried oregano, and a generous pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Once the water is boiling, place the pasta in and set the timer for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat add the confit onions with the oil (if you think it’s too much oil, you don’t have to add all of it) and chopped garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in the white wine and about ¼ cup of the reserved clam juice cooking liquid, allow for the liquid to burn off.
- Add in the cooked clam mixture, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and most of the parsley (reserve some for garnish) as well as another couple pinches of salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta directly to the pot and toss everything to combine. Add in the butter and another splash of the reserved clam juice liquid, cook stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Season to taste.
- Serve warm garnished with the remaining parsley and another squeeze of lemon juice.
People go CRAZY over this dish. Most linguine with clam recipes I find to be boring and pretty flavorless, and this recipe could not be more opposite. Packed with so much garlic, fresh and dried herbs, spice, and lots of bright lemon flavor. I could seriously eat this every day of my life, it’s THAT good.
I hope you give this a try! 🙂