Recipe: linguine with clams
No new snow for nearly two weeks has actually granted me the opportunity to take care of ski stuff that I would normally neglect on powder days. For one thing, we finally took our skis in to have the bindings swapped. A little bird told me that I could bring in a six-pack of craft beer and the ski shop fellas at the local mountaineering store could turn those around for me in a day. So I did. And they did! And they waived a bunch of labor fees too. When someone does you a solid like that, you return a few days later with homemade cookies. We also took care of our skate skis and I convinced my buddy, Erin, to do a nordic ski clinic with me. Even though there’s no new snow, skiing is completely on the brain.
pet the local mountaineering store pup while you’re there
erin and i having fun on the nordic center trails
our instructor showing us how to wax
I lost my photo mojo for a little while there, but that might have been because I was under the weather with a weird 24-hour bug that knocked me off my feet over the weekend. A stunning, colorful sunrise presented itself to the east Monday morning, but I felt so terrible that I just pulled the blinds down and crawled back under the flannel covers. Blarg. Tuesday morning promised to be a repeat of Monday, except that I was filled with pep and energy! I scouted a new location for shooting sunrise and managed to witness a beautiful progression unfold from this vantage point.
so many colors
mesmerizing textures in the sky
Being sick is one thing, but having cotton-brain runs my motivation straight into the ground. My mind floats in a heavy fog of pain or dizziness until I kick whatever it is I’ve got. I can tell when it’s gone because my perpetual mental to do list comes back online. Jeremy can tell when it’s gone because I start saying things like, “Help me make the bed,” or “The pastry brushes belong over there,” or “What would you like for dinner?” One category that consistently delights him is seafood. It is probably my greatest regret about moving to Colorado from the coast. We do have access to good quality seafood, but it’s not the same access as when you live a few miles from the ocean. That and the fact that seafood is a somewhat spendy indulgence here. So the other night, I had a craving for linguine with clam sauce – except I wanted fresh clams.
olive oil, linguine, wine, pepper, butter, garlic, salt, clams, parsley
Standing at the seafood counter, I asked for 2 dozen littleneck clams. The fish monger asked, “Have you tried pasta neck clams?” Pasta wha? He held one up next to a littleneck and it looked like a baby littleneck clam. Little foods are so cute! He told me they have a great sweet meat and are more delicate than their larger counterparts. I must have said okay because he was counting up 3 dozen pasta neck clams before I knew what was happening. Once home, I scrubbed the clams down (no one likes eating grit) and then prepared a little jacuzzi of olive oil, butter, garlic, and white wine for them.
melt the butter and olive oil
get them all settled into the pan
Use a pot or pan with a tight fitting lid to steam the clams and get them to open. Most, if not all, should open eventually. Some of mine took as much as 8 minutes before giving up the fight. Apparently, most of the dead ones will be obvious before you even cook them – they will have opened while still cold. Toss those out. But keep trying to coax the closed ones open in the sauce. Just be patient. You don’t have to use clams in their shells, but I think they taste best this way, releasing their lovely clam juice into the sauce when their shells pop open. If you want to avoid dealing with shells, you can get shelled clams or canned clams. If you do, be sure to get some of their juice to add to the sauce – it is the difference between awesome and disappointing.
sprinkle the parsley over the clams
add a little more wine if you like it saucier
ladle over the cooked pasta
Honestly, we could do with or without the pasta and just eat the clams and the sauce straight up (with good crusty bread)! This dish is weeknight-meal-easy, but the whole clams lend it elegance enough for entertaining. I’ve tried it with both pasta necks and littlenecks and we prefer the pasta necks. If you can get your hands on some fresh clams, this is a simple, classic dish definitely worth trying.
butter, seafood, wine – what a combination
you’ll be clamoring for more!
Linguine with Clams
from Stanley Tucci via Epicurious
1 lb. linguine, cooked al dente
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used 1 cup)
24 littleneck or chowder clams (I used 36 pasta neck clams), scrubbed clean
2 tbsps fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
black pepper, freshly ground
In a large sauté pan or stockpot with a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat. When the fat is hot, add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it cook for 2 minutes. Add the clams and 1 tablespoon of the parsley to the pot. Cover with the lid and cook until the clams open – about 5 minutes. If they don’t all open, keep cooking the clams (covered) for an additional minute until they are all open (the dead ones usually open up before cooking and should be discarded). Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce and clams over the cooked pasta and garnish with remaining tablespoon of parsley.
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