Linguine and Clams With Fresh Red Sauce
This weeknight clam pasta comes together easily under 30 minutes without compromising flavor. Canned whole clams, packed in valuable clam juices, are the pantry hero. Opt for whole canned clams, since they’re more tender and delicate than the chopped or minced varieties. The key to achieving the most seafood flavor is finishing the pasta right in the clam sauce, so that the pasta absorbs all of the briny flavors as it cooks. The sauce gets a nice fresh boost from the addition of sweet cherry tomatoes, while Parmesan and butter stirred in at the end create a rich, silky sauce.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1pound linguine
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1pound cherry tomatoes
- 3garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2(6-ounce) cans whole clams, juices reserved
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
- ½cup chopped fresh curly or flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- Red-pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions until 3 minutes shy of al dente. (It will finish cooking in the sauce; pasta should be toothsome but not crunchy.) Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
Step 2Meanwhile, once pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and start to pop, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 3Add reserved clam juice (you should have about 1 cup) and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add sauce, pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the butter back to the large pot, and cook, stirring vigorously, until sauce is thickened and pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup more pasta water if a thinner sauce is desired.
Step 4Turn off the heat and stir in the clams, cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with cheese, parsley, black pepper and red-pepper flakes, if using.