7/3/11

Linguine with Clams

For the most part, the recipes I share here are one-offs—I try the recipe, photograph the process, eat the results, write all about it, and then rarely, if ever, make it again. So, given the fact that I made this pasta for the first time months ago and have made it three times since, I had to ask myself: why oh why have I not shared this one already? Or, as Matt put it: “You must really have something against this delicious meal, huh?”

But I don’t. It’s my current favorite make-at-home dinner. So, what’s the hold up? Well, I got it from GOOP—Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site. And thus, to write about this recipe, I would have to tackle the trifecta that is Gwyneth, GOOP, and her new cookbook, which seems to bring out strong opinions in people. And not only did I find myself lacking anything remarkable to contribute to this discussion, I realized that Gwyneth just doesn’t get me talking people’s ears off like other topics do. Other topics, like, say, Hunger Games or the amazing music coming out of Sweden or the inconsistencies between how the producers of The Bachelorette handled the whole Bentley thing versus the way they handled that woman who got kicked off The Bachelor for allegedly flirting with one of the producers (so lame!).

That said, I think I have a couple of things to share that we can all agree on.
1. GOOP gave me free access to an inspiring Mario Batali recipe I would have otherwise had to pay for, and a recipe that has since made its way into my weekday life, which is basically, as previously discussed, the best case scenario in new recipe-testing, and that is pretty cool.
2. Gwyneth’s hair is pretty.

If you’ve never purchased live clams before, I can understand the hesitation, but guess what? Prior to this, I hadn’t either. And now that I’ve purchased them on four separate occasions, please allow me to share my experience-based knowledge. For starters, the recipe calls for “small clams, such as Manila, or cockles,” but my local grocery store only had littlenecks, a.k.a. larger clams. (The descriptor littleneck simply refers to a clam’s size—not an area on the east coast lousy with clams or something like that, which is what I previously thought.) And the first time I bought these littlenecks, I did just as the recipe told me and bought one pound. Guess how many littlenecks were in one pound? Five. Kind of a bummer, which brings us to my next tip: Get more than a pound if you’re buying littlenecks and would like to serve people more than one clam. 

Once you’re home, give these clams a nice rinse and a bit of a scrub. This gets the dirt and/or sand off and can actually be kind of nice because it might remind you of where they came from—Whole Foods! (Just kidding, the correct answer is the ocean floor.) If any of them are slightly open, give those ones a little tap and kindly ask them to close on up. If they do, they’re good to go. If not, you must toss them and hopefully not be down to four total clams.
 
Once everything is prepped, this meal comes together really quickly. And if all goes well, the result should look something like this:
Don’t even think of forgetting or skimping on the parsley. It makes the dish.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is: Thanks for the recipe, Gwyneth and Mario! The three of us should all hang out again soon, yeah? xoxo

Linguine Con Le Vongole / Linguine with Clams via Goop / Mario Batali
Serves: 4-6
1 pound dried linguine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 pound small clams, such as Manila, or cockles, scrubbed
1 tablespoon red chile flakes (optional)
1 cup dry white wine
1 bunch Italian parsley
3 tablespoons Kosher salt

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water. Drop the linguine into the boiling water.

While pasta cooks, make the sauce. In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sliced garlic.

Cook the garlic until it's fragrant. Before the garlic gets too brown, add in the clams. Add the chili flakes and white wine. Cover the pan and cook until the clams steam open.

While cooking, coarsely chop parsley, including stems.

Drain the linguine when it is one minute short of the cooking time on the package instructions and put it in the sauté pan with the clams. Toss the pasta in the pan to allow it to absorb the broth.

Remove any unopened clams. Add parsley and toss together. Serve the pasta. Finish with a pinch of chiles.
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34 comments:

matt said...

Soooo good! Currently my favorite pasta dinner, and that says a lot.

Ana Degenaar said...

I'm in!

Meister @ The Nervous Cook said...

This post made me laugh out loud. It also inspired me to try buying (and then killing! and eating!) live clams. Dramatic!

Amy Marks said...

Yes..this post made me laugh out loud as well! And, okay, she had pretty hair....but....

keepfeeling said...

i think i might be obsessed with GP, as well as this pasta. at the top of my "to make" list, thanks!

happy 4th to you and matt!

xo

Sunday Taylor said...

I have the book and now that you've tried this recipe and given us all the important information, I will make it. It looks delicious. Happy 4th to you and Matt!

Epicurea said...

i love clams and i love pasta - this will make it to our menu soon!!

Mark and Marsha said...

We just ate dinner - read your post - laughed out loud - and now we want to have Linguine Con Le Vongole. It looks fantastic.

sara said...

i always thought littleneck was a place lousy with clams too!

also, the pasta looks delish.

Megan Taylor said...

GOOP = COZY ALWAYS!

xo

Mary Anne said...

Hi! I'm in Alaska! I like this meal and want it! More later...

Rachel said...

Incidentally, this is a staple around our house, too. Although, we've always made the poor man's version (canned clams). But the cans make it so easy to whip up any time. However, I've always been a little gun shy to use the real deal... maybe because I'm in a landlocked state. Or maybe that's just an excuse... but I think you've inspired me.
And you're right about the parsley.
AND! It is fantastic with fresh, homemade pasta and some freshly grated parm.

amelia said...

@Rachel welcome back!! and yes about the parm! I forgot to mention that we totally add parmesan! Always have, always will. And i'm sure it's delicious with the canned clams, which reminds me: I should really find out where they get the clams I've been using anyway...

Kimberley said...

This was one of my favorite dishes growing up - my dad made it all the time, but with canned clams, of course! I appreciate your neutrality towards Gwyneth; it's really kind of amazing how polarizing a figure she is.

Mikko Tyllinen said...

Looks absolutley amazing! beautiful!

Aluma Wallet said...

This linguine with clams recipe sounds great. I think Gwyneth and Mario may have hit the mark with this one.

Ocean Freight said...

The looks was so good. Looks very delicious and healthy..

Chantal Larochelle Provisional RGD said...

I would never try this dish, due to my allergy :(, but your photos are making me hungry! Great blog. Congrats on your blog of note status too. :)

Lolei said...

love....
the name of this blog!

randy said...

wow delicious :D yummmy


my mouth is watered up lol :P

Czarina said...

This just made me hungry. ;(

http://czarinacuison.blogspot.com/

Cooking Girl said...

This pasta dish sounds amazing! I don't think that I've ever cooked with clams, but I may have to give it a try!

I also love your blog and this post was really fun to read!

Brian Bedell said...

Good job on getting blog of note. Keep up the Great Work!

Brian

Panna Days, Guinness Nights
An Alternate Truth
The Every Day Guide To Herb Gardening

kirillova said...

Cool,I have wanted to eat)

The Whispering Path said...

Congrats on Blog of Note. :) Love the blog......I'm hungry now.

Ollie said...

Your pictures are great, what camera do you use? My pictures look no where near as good as these but I am only using a phone camera. Great recipe too, I love clams.


http://food-we-eat.blogspot.com

busticati said...

Literally my FAVORITE dish. I look forward to your other attempts!

By the way, check out my blog. Cheers!

Jess said...

This looks beautiful! I jut found your blog via the blogs of note; I love how you tackle these artistic and gourmet recipes! You've definitely inspired me to try something outside of my comfort zone! thanks!

bon appetempt said...

@ Ollie - Thanks! I use a Lumix LX3, it's a great little point and shoot.

@ Jess - So glad! I'm constantly outside my comfort zone.

L'univers de Swann said...

Yummy, that too much tempts !!! :p

mahi said...

this looks beautiful.

jeanne said...

That is so gorgeous.

Astrabox said...

Love it!

Mary Anne said...

I MADE THIS TONIGHT! I messed up on the olive oil. Didn't put much in--just the usual amount to saute some garlic. The end result was pretty dry and un-saucey. BUT WE LOVED IT ANYWAY!