Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Clams with Linguine

We were on vacation in England. Renting an apartment which meant that I didn't have all of my usual cooking toys, the ovens were calibrated in C, the knives were not as sharp as mine... But on a whim we had the landlord to dinner one evening. What to make???
We came up with this wonderful treatment for clams and linguine that was simple to make and very tasty. It even got the "we can serve this to people" accolade from madame.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

24 Small round tomatoes (bigger than cherry tomatoes, but not beefsteak size)
1 Fennel bulb (cut into 1/4" slices and then halved)
4 Small shallots (peeled and halved)
1 garlic clove sliced thinly
3T vegetable oil
3 lbs littleneck clams (purged in cold water for about 30 minutes)
1 bunch parsley chopped fine
A few drops hot sauce
Salt/pepper to taste
3/4 lb Linguine (preferably fresh)
Salt for the linguine cooking water


Preheat oven to 400 with a rack in the center. Toss the tomatoes, fennel, shallot in the oil to coat and place in a sheet pan in the oven. After about 20 minutes, add the oiled garlic to the pan too.
Place a large pot of salted water on to boil ready for the linguine.
You need to time the linguine and clam cooking a bit carefully at this stage. The clams take about 4 minutes to open up, so arrange the timing so that the linguine will be just al dente when the clams are cooked. If fresh pasta is used, put the clams in first. If dried pasta, put the pasta in first and then do the clams with 4 minutes of pasta cooking time to go.
Put the clams into the vegetable pan in the oven, replace the pan and cook for 4 minutes (or so) until all the clams have opened up.
Drain the pasta, Place in a large warmed bowl, pour the clams and vegetables over the top, sprinkle with 2/3rds of the parsley and toss to combine. Check seasonings.  Sprinkle the rest of the parsley on top as a garnish.
Serve with a crisp white whine (Sauvignon Blanc family works well).

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