Linguine with Clam Sauce

linguine with clam sauce

This is one of those awesome recipes where the sauce cooks while you bring the pasta water to a boil. The linguini gets a final simmer right in the sauce, so all that briny flavor gets right inside the noodles. It's a surprisingly economical meal -- and a surprisingly kid-friendly one, thanks to all that butter and garlic, which is really the gateway to seafood-loving, isn't it? Serve it with crusty bread for mopping up any delicious dregs.

Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 6


    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons butter
    4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 shallot, finely chopped (or 1/3 cup finely chopped onion)
    3 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juice reserved (you should have about 1 1/2 cups of juice)
    1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth, if the wine flavor will trouble your kids)
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
    Salt to taste
    Freshly grated parmesan
    1 pound of linguini, freshly cooked until just tender (be sure to salt the cooking water well)


  1. Set a large pot of four quarts of water to boil (for the linguine). Salt the water generously. (Add the pasta when the water comes to a boil.)
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then sauté the onions and garlic until softened and very fragrant -- 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Add the reserved clam juice, the wine or broth, and the Worcestershire sauce, raise the heat, and bring it to a vigorous simmer, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes (while you cook the linguini according to package instructions).
  4. Drain the linguine when it's done al dente -- don't let it overcook to too much softness, as you'll be simmering it further in the sauce (next step).
  5. Taste the sauce for salt, then add the clams, the linguine, and the parsley, and simmer together for 5 minutes, until the sauce is mostly absorbed and everything tastes fantastic.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan.

See more recipes from Catherine Newman at her "Dalai Mama Dishes" blog.

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