Mike and I have been really busy at our day jobs lately so we’ve been trying to find some easy recipes that would not only be quick to make, but also provide a little extra comfort that we all look for in our nightly dinners. When I came across this recipe in Bon Appétit magazine, I realized that I had never cooked with clams before, which is odd because Mike and I are really into seafood (which is a friendly way of saying we’re obsessed with it).
Cooking with clams is really no different than cooking with mussels. Cover them in the sauce until they open and discard any that don’t open. The sauce in this recipe is one of our go-to’s and includes the basics: olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and white wine. I used the same sauce in my Squid Ink Pasta with Garlic and Tomatoes post, so it’s incredibly versatile to use with different types of pasta recipes.
My favorite part of this recipe is the almond-herb mix that gets added as a garnish. It brings a slightly nutty flavor to the sweetness of the clams and the spiciness of the sauce. This dish is super delicious, really comforting and has already become an easy go-to for our weekly dinner routine. A busy day at work has nothing on this recipe.
LINGUINE AND CLAMS WITH ALMONDS AND HERBS
1/2 cup unsalted, almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
2 table spoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon and 1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
3/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1-2 pounds little neck clams
12 oz. linguine
1. Mix almonds, chives, parsley, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1⁄4 cup oil in a large pot over medium heat.
3. Cook garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Note: Be careful not to burn the garlic.
4. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
5. Add clams and increase heat to medium-high; cover pot.
6. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until clams have opened, 5–8 minutes
Note: Discard any clams that do not open.
7. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
8. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
9. Add pasta and 1⁄2 cup pasta cooking liquid to clams and toss to coat.
10. Cook, tossing and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
11. Season with salt and pepper.
12. Serve linguine and clams topped with reserved almond-herb mixture.
All images © Regan Baroni 2015.