For mother’s day I wanted to cook my mom a delicious dinner with the fam. We had trouble deciding what to make but once we did we were both very much looking forward to this meal after a long and unsuccessful day of shopping in New York. On our drive back to Connecticut we called every single fish market and grocery store we could think of and none of them had the baby manila clams. Another disappointment! Our last ditch effort was to stop by the SoNo Marketplace because I remembered they had two fish stores. With fingers crossed we waited in line for what seemed like an hour (5 minutes) at Bloom Brothers and discovered they did not have manila clams either. At this point we just had to laugh and we happily took the available cherrystone clams because they were fresh. And really, all that matters when making a dish like linguine alle vongole is that the seafood is fresh! I’m sorry I don’t have more photos to share with the instructions!
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
- 6-7 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 2-3 shallots, chopped fine
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3-4 dozens clams (manila are preferred)
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3-4 tablespoons butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente.
Heat the olive oil over medium flame in a deep saute pan with a lid. Add the garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the clams, wine, butter, most of the parsley and lemon juice. Cover with the lid and shake the pan periodically until all the clams open, about 7-8 minutes. Discard any clams that have not opened.
This is an optional step I like in order to add more texture to the sauce (and prevent you from having to work so hard for your food!). Remove about 12 clams, chop them up fine and put them back in the pan.
Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add linguine to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add more butter if necessary. Toss the pasta with the clams to its nicely coated. To serve place in large bowl and top with the rest of the fresh parsley. Mangia!
PS- a note for the cheese lovers out there: Italians do not put cheese on top of any pasta dishes with seafood. It’s simply frowned upon because they believe it overcomes the subtle flavor of the seafood. Your choice but I left it off this dish!