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
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.