This is one of our favorite, quick week night meals. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. It is especially good when you have oregano, parsley and basil available from the garden but dried herbs will do in a pinch! We first posted this about a year ago. We decided to post it again with new photos. I hope you agree, the photos are improving!
36-48 ounces canned clams, drained, juice reserved
2 cups dry white wine
1 large white onion
8 cloves of garlic
juice of 1/2 of a lemon – about 2 Tablespoons
1 teaspoon dried oregano – or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade*
1/2 cup good quality, peppery olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
optional – 3-4 per serving fresh, clean steamer clams in shell
fresh grated parmesan for serving
additional minced parsley for garnish
linguine, prepared according to directions
Drain the clams in a colander with a bowl beneath it to catch the clam broth. Set both aside.
Dice the onion and mince the garlic cloves, and set aside.
Chop the parsley, oregano and basil, and set aside.
Warm the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottom sauté pan. (It is a lot of oil, but it is the base for the sauce.) Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently about 5 minutes. Add in the oregano and the red pepper flakes. Sauté another 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Add the white wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce about 5 minutes. Add the reserved clam broth and the lemon juice. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Stir in the basil, oregano and chopped parsley. If you are adding fresh clams, place them in the pan now. Yes – there are some mussels in the picture. Dave keeps thinking he does not like mussels. I cooked a few as a “test”. He still thinks he does not like them! Is there anybody else out there that likes clams but not mussels?
Start your pasta water. Once pasta water comes to a boil, add the reserved clams into the sauté pan. Reduce the heat to very low. Do not simmer the sauce after you have added the canned clams, you want to just warm them. (Overcooking will make them tough and chewy.) I am sure you know to NOT eat any clams or mussels that did not open up, right?
Adjust the sauce for seasoning. You may need a little more salt or pepper. To serve, place a portion of fresh hot linguine on a plate or bowl. Top with the sauce and garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and the steamed clams, if using. Serve with a tossed salad and crusty baguette bread top sop up the broth.