March 11, 2010
People who know us well can attest that we are homebodies. As much as we love a night out on the town, either as a couple or among friends, nothing beats the comforts of our kitchen, our dining table, our couch. A reservation chez nous means casual attire (read: my hair is up, makeup is off, sweats are on), cheap entertainment a la Netflix, a bottle of wine and comfort food. This clam linguine is our default comfort food. I make it mid-week when nothing else sounds good, on Sunday evenings when grocery shopping didn’t fit into the weekend schedule and I’m left to forage through the pantry, or at the end of a long week when I just don’t have the energy to really cook (I could probably make this blind-folded, that’s how often it’s eaten around here). Such was the case a couple Fridays back when I couldn’t refuse a date night at home. While Kyle determined which of the Academy Awards Best Picture hopefuls to watch first, I made linguine with white clam sauce (or clam linguine, as we call it) while donning an over-sized hoodie, sporting a ponytail and armed with a hefty pour of Chardonnay. Comfort at its finest. My kind of Friday night.
Linguine with White Clam Sauce(Adapted liberally from Rachel Ray)
- 1 2-oz tin flat anchovies in olive oil, drained and oil reserved (Recommend: King Oscar brand)
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup clam juice or chicken stock
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3 6.5-oz cans chopped clams in clam juice
- 1 pound whole wheat linguine (or regular linguine)
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
In a large 12 inch saute pan, heat reserved oil from tin of anchovies and butter over medium heat. Add anchovies, onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft and anchovies “melt” into the oil. Stir in red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
*This is typically when I’ll add my pasta to the boiling water. You’ll want to boil the pasta for about 2-3 minutes less than the al dente recommendation (it will continue cooking in the sauce). When I use whole wheat linguine, this is usually about 6-7 minutes.
Add thyme, Italian seasoning and wine to the saute pan and cook until wine reduces, about 3 minutes. Add the clam juice or stock, lemon zest and juice and canned clams (with juice). Bring to a near boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain pasta and add to the sauce. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.