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Spinach Linguine with White Clam Sauce – Linguine con le Vongole

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Spinach Linguine with White Clam Sauce – Linguine con le Vongole
Jen Hoy
This recipe for linguine with clam sauce is a great summer dinner dish. During cooler weather I like adding tomatoes to the sauce, which gives it more body, but the lighter flavors of wine, olive oil, garlic and plenty of parsley are fabulous on their own. This is another easy dish for entertaining: add a big salad; some crusty bread with pesto, tapenade or Romesco sauce on the side; and a beautiful fruit tart for dessert to create a lovely and simple meal. You can, of course, round this out with other dishes and use the pasta as a “primo piatto” or first course, but we love it as a main dish in hot weather.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spinach linguine or spaghetti
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red chili, chopped fine, or 1 large pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds small clams, soaked and scrubbed*
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Preparation:

Cook the linguine according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
Heat the olive oil, garlic, chili and clams over high heat in a large skillet. When the mixture begins to sizzle, add the wine, cover the pan and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes.
Add the parsley, mix well, and toss in the pasta.
Season to taste and serve immediately, passing lemon wedges on the side.
*A few notes about fresh clams:
Discard any broken clams. If the shells are partially open, tap them against a firm surface. Live clams will close. If the shell doesn’t close, the clam is dead and should be discarded. Scrub the clams. Place the clams in cool water and sprinkle a tablespoon of sea salt and a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal over them. Stir gently and let the clams sit for 30-40 minutes. This will clean their bellies out of any grit. Rinse well and pat dry.
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