Easy Date Night Hack: Linguine And Clams

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This seafood dish is easier to make than you think.

Linguine with clams is one of those dishes that feels really fancy without breaking the bank.

Cooking with seafood can seem daunting, but this dish makes it a breeze.

Using white wine, garlic, and fresh clams (not the canned ones), this linguine with clams dish has so much flavor and will leave your honey wanting to "Kiss the Cook" for sure.

How To Pick & Prepare Clams

The fresher, the better with seafood. Keep these things in mind when buying/prepping your clams for the best experience.

  • Clams should never smell fishy. Give them a sniff and make sure they smell briny. Anything else is a no go.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for a look. I buy my clams from a guy that goes to the beach a few times a week and brings back what's fresh. But by the time I reserve my order and make it out to him, he's already packaged them up for me. Sometimes, in the process of transport or bagging, the clams can get damaged--I learned this the hard way once and had to throw out 5 of my clams once I got home and got ready to cook. Ask to take a peak and swap out the bad ones.
  • Look for clams that are still closed--open clams are likely already dead and decomposing. If you have a few that are slightly open, give them a hard tap on the counter. If the clam is still alive, it should close within a few minutes and be good to eat. If it doesn't, toss it.
  • Also check for any chips or cracks. Avoid these if you can.
  • To clean the clams, fill a large bowl with cool water, place in your clams, and add a spoonful of cornmeal. This will help with sand removal so you don't get a gritty mouthful at the dinner table. After letting the clams sit for 20-30 minutes, remove each clam from the bowl individually and scrub under running water to remove any remaining grit.
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (or about 24) littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 6 ounces linguine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook your pasta until 1 minute short of the al dente recommendations on the package. It's still going to be pretty firm, but we're going to cook it more a little later in the dish. Reserve some of the pasta water when draining the finished pasta.
  2. In a large saute pan (that has a lid), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stirring frequently, cook until you can smell the garlic, ~1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in wine and season with salt and pepper. Cook until boiling and allow to reduce by half, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in clams and cover with lid. Allow to cook until all the clams have opened, ~5-8 minutes. Toss any unopened clams.
  5. Add in cooked, drained linguine and toss in the clams and sauce. Cook until pasta softens, ~1 minute. If the dish begins to look a little dry, add in a little of the reserved pasta water.
  6. Remove from heat and toss with fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat. Severe immediately.

Serving Suggestions

  • Feel free to serve the pasta directly from the pan you cooked in. I like to arrange the clams around the outside in a pretty little ring.
  • Serve with this salad and crusty, toasty bread (to sop up that delicious garlicky wine sauce).
  • Pair with a nice, dry white, like a Sav Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Bon App├ętit!

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