Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow! We had a foot of snow here last evening which gives me an opportunity to slow down and post a few recipes that have been waiting in the queue! This simple dish is my all-time, hands-down favorite pasta – I order it at every opportunity in Italy and have had it made with tomatoes, cream and simply dressed, as with this version. And this simple preparation is my favorite – the taste of the tender clams mingled with the garlicky broth never disappoints. I make this dish often and it always sweeps me back to Italy and memories of all the seaside villages where I have had this wonderful meal. As we can’t find the tiny version of clams known as vongole veraci here in America, use the smallest littlenecks you can find. Open a nice crisp bottle of white wine, some for the clams and some for you and enjoy!
Linguini alle Vongole Veraci (Linguine with Littleneck Clams)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
About 3 or so pounds of littleneck clams (I usually buy a bag of 25 clams; rinsed)
1 cup of dry white wine
2 tablespoons of good quality brandy
Salt, to taste
1 pound of linguine
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
2. While the water is boiling, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and about half of the parsley and saute in the skillet until fragrant, about a minute or so.
3. Add the clams and cover the pan. Cook for another few minutes.
4. Add the wine and brandy to the skillet and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
5. Cover the skillet, shaking occassionally and allow to cook until all the clams have opened – about 5 minutes. Discard any shells that have not opened.
6. Add pasta to water once boiling and cook until tender, about 11 minutes (according to package directions). Drain pasta.
7. Add pasta to skillet with clams. Reduce heat to medium-low and toss. Drizzle with extra olive oil. Add salt to taste.
8. Cook for 1 minutes longer. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve!