As a little girl, Claire did not care much for seafood, but in spite of that, the one thing she always loved was clams. She would eat them cooked any way, any place. Her favorite way to eat them was steamed fresh in the shell. Of course, this is the best way to eat a clam, preferably at the beach! Her second favorite way to eat them is in pasta. She told me yesterday that out of all the pasta dishes I make this one is her favorite.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s made mostly with pantry items. I like to make sure I have a few cans of clams and anchovies on hand for emergency clam pasta situations. You never know when one will occur! And for those of you who are cringing at the anchovy reference here, I will say that I used to be scared of them too. They sound nasty. They smell fishy. They could very possibly be disgusting. And maybe if you ate them straight from the can they would be. But when you cook with them, they sort of dissolve into the sauce, adding a subtle, salty, nutty flavor that is not fishy at all. It’s a miracle! And they add a wonderful depth of flavor that you do not get without them. So trust me, and put them in there!
Linguine with Clams
6-8 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
1 can anchovies, oil drained
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (or 1 tbsp. fresh basil)
2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 can chopped clams, with juice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan
1 small pkg. linguine
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, anchovies, crushed red pepper & shallots. Saute until shallots are soft and anchovies have pretty much dissolved. Add tomatoes, wine, clams, Italian seasoning. Let this simmer a bit while pasta cooks. Just before pasta is done, add lemon juice, salt & pepper and fresh parsley. Drain noodles and add to pan. Add parmesan and toss together to combine. Serve hot with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges.
Makes 4 servings (363 calories per serving).