If I was six and you asked me what I wanted for dinner, I would probably tell you that I wanted Linguine with Clam Sauce–hold the clams. (I liked the briny flavor but not the chewy texture.)
Weird, I know, But all kids are weird, right? Or so I hear.
Anyway, me as an adorable young kid with nearly white eyebrows and blond curls and a shyness so intense I couldn’t order my own dinner in a restaurant is not really what I wanted to talk about today. Though, to be honest, what I have to say today is hardly more interesting because life is still so busy I can’t be relied on to finish a thought.
I went to Foodstock (check out photo #12), which was fantastic and inspiring and full of culinary greats. I’ve been taking lots of photos on Instagram. I’m learning everything I possibly can about wedding cakes (the variety!). I got a Photoshop layout tutorial from Sarah, the results of which you’ll see tomorrow in a fun new feature. I decided it’s finally time to learn some coding.
The upshot of all of these activities puts extra emphasis on a super tasty but super quick dinner over which Alex and I can relax and connect. And so, I made this pasta. It’s more than the sum of its parts–seafood, pasta, herbs, and garlic–and a bowl of linguine with clam sauce acts as bridge between childhood me and and busy 2012 me. Only now I eat the clams.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Linguine with Clam Sauce
16 littleneck clams, scrubbed clean and stored in a large bowl of salty water in the fridge
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
About 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 pound linguine
In a large, heavy pot with a lid, bring about an inch of water to a boil. Add the clams and cover the pot. Steam for 3-5 minutes, then check to see if the clams are opened. Remove any that are and put in them in a bowl. Recover the pot and give any closed clams an extra 5 minutes or so to open. (Any that don’t open after that were probably dead when you put them in, so just toss them.) Reserve the water/clam juice left over from steaming. When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove the clams from the shells and set aside in a small bowl.
In a large saucepan, warm the oil. Add the onion and stir over medium-low heat until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minute, stirring pretty constantly. Add 1/4 cup of parsley, the salt, and a few grinds of black pepper, and stir until the parsley is wilted, then add the wine. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, simmering so the wine mostly cooks off, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved clam juice and bring to a gentle simmer.
While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. When it boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
About 5 minutes before the pasta is done, add the clams to the saucepan. When the pasta is done, drain it, then add it to the pan with the clams and the sauce. Mix well, adding a bit more of the clam broth as needed to incorporate the onions and clams into the linguine. Taste for salt and add more as needed.
Divide between two pasta plates or bowl and eat immediately.