A classic Italian summer dish: linguine with clams.
3 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
8 garlic cloves, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup clam juice
12 ounces linguini
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided
1 Fill a large stock pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mince 3 of the garlic cloves and set aside.
2 Using a Dutch oven add 1 tablespoon butter and place over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the bread crumbs and toast, stirring frequently until lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes. turn off the heat and add the minced garlic, lemon zest and parsley. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
3 Rinse out the Dutch oven and set aside. Using a parking knife, thinly slice the remaining 6 cloves of garlic. Place the Dutch oven back over a medium flame. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and when hot, but not smoking, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook until the anchovies begin to break apart. Add the wine and simmer. Reduce the mixture by 1/2. Add the clams, stir well, cover and cook unto the clams open about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the clams to a medium mixing bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Set aside.
4 By this point your water should be boiling, Add the linguini and cook till al dente, about 6 minutes. Do not drain the paste, reserve about 1 cup (or more) of pasta water. Using tongs, transfer the linguini directly to the Dutch oven with the clam liquid. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and clam juice and bring to a boil. Cook while stirring constantly reducing the liquid by 1/2 and until the sauce has thickened somewhat and is coating the linguini nicely, about 5 minutes. (Note: more pasta water can be added if need just do so in small amounts and readjust the seasoning to taste).
5 Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining parsley and 1 tablespoon butter. Add about 1/3 of the toasted bread crumb mixture to the linguini and mix well to combine.
6 To serve, divide the linguini among serving bowls, top with clams, sprinkle more bread-crumb mixture on top and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
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