This is one of those meals that I’m surprised that we haven’t already made in the almost 5 years of Rampant Cuisine. It’s such an elegant classic and yet so simple and delicious…a comfort food that works for any season. I had the idea to try this recipe for a very boring reason…it turns out that clams are the absolute best source of the vitamin B12…beating foods like liver, red meat and fish for the top spot. Clams aren’t something we eat on a regular basis, though, so I started looking around for clam recipes other than the obvious chowder and this is the one that jumped out at me! It has a white wine sauce with plenty of garlic, herbs, parmesan and a hint of spice. The element of the dish that makes it, however, is the briny, earthy flavor that the clams bring to the sauce. The al dente linguine soaks up the sauce and becomes the perfect vehicle for packing the most deliciousness into every bite. If your B12 levels are a little low or you’re just looking for a romantic meal that you can whip up in less than hour give this a try!
This wine gets extra points because the label matched the colors in the dish soooo well. Oh, and it was really tasty too! The wine was perfect in and with the meal…it was just fruity enough to brighten the dish while being dry and mellow to complement the flavor of the clams. This wine would be ideal with any dish involving fish, shellfish or chicken…and perfect for a hot summer day!
We actually picked this up at a new brewery that recently opened up about a mile from our place. I had this beer at a local restaurant and knew that I would have to grab some more to drink some time. This saison is a nice light golden yellow beer with sweet citrus aromas and slight Belgian yest funk. The citrus flavors finish dry and crisp and is very refreshing for a hot and humid DC summer day.
Adapted from this recipe
Extra-virgin olive oil
9 cloves garlic, smashed
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed under cold running water
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
6 ounces linguine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional, plus shavings for garnish
1. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and add half the garlic cloves. Bring the pan to a medium- high heat and cook until the garlic becomes golden brown. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, remove it and discard. Put 1 dozen clams in the pan with the wine and 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Remove the clams from the pan and reduce the cooking liquid. Let the clams cool slightly, then remove them from the shells and reserve. Discard the shells. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup.
2. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat.
3. Coat the same saute pan again with olive oil and add the remaining garlic cloves and a small pinch of crushed pepper flakes. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until the garlic becomes golden brown. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, remove it and discard. Add the remaining raw clams and reserved clam cooking liquid to the pan. Cover and cook until the clams open.
4. While the clams are cooking, drop the linguine into the salted boiling water and cook until the pasta is “al dente”.
5. Remove the cooked clams in their shells from the pan and keep warm. Add the butter and cooked clams that have been removed from their shells back to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and toss in the cooked pasta and the herbs. Cook the pasta together with the sauce until the sauce clings to the pasta. Turn off the heat and toss in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if using, and finish with a drizzle of big fat finishing oil. Toss or stir vigorously to combine.
6. Divide the pasta into serving dishes and garnish with the clams that are still in their shells and a little more shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.