Linguine with Clam Sauce. Simple & Elegant

linguine with clam sauce

Simple, yet elegant…that’s the idea for this dish. When you think of some Italian dishes, lasagna for instance, long prep and build times can come to mind especially when making scratch sauces and pasta. Linguine with clam sauce may conjure the same mental images, however, it’s a dish where the ingredients come together quickly. The flavors develop while the sauce reduces into deliciousness.

linguine with clam sauce recipe ingredients

Linguine with Clam Sauce

3 6.5 oz. cans of chopped clams (reserve the juice)

1 Tbsp. + 3 Tbsp. of unsalted butter

1 large shallot, diced

1 ½ Tbsp. garlic puree

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried parsley

3 Tbsp. fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried basil

1 Tbsp. red chili flakes

1 fresh lemon

White wine (I used a 2014 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier as it pairs really well with the dish)

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

16 oz. package of your favorite linguine (we used a Gluten Free pasta)

 

  • Begin by bringing a large pot with salted water to boil. You want to add a little salt to the water as it increases the boiling point and helps to season the pasta as it is cooking. A couple tablespoons of olive oil will also help keep it from sticking together.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat, placing your first tablespoon of butter to evenly coat the pan.
  • Just as the butter begins to form small bubbles, add the shallot and garlic. Sauté until the shallots become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in your clams, clam juice, parsley, basil, and chili flakes along with your remaining butter into the skillet. If you haven’t already noticed we like a little heat in our dishes (Chicken and Waffles and Smoked Ribs both provide a little heat). After living in El Paso, Texas for nearly a decade we’ve developed a love for spicy. Reduce or increase the amount of Chili Flakes based on your family’s pallet. That’s the best part of home cooking, it’s adaptable to your own preferences.

 

  • Turn your heat down to medium and continue on until reduced by about half. At this point, I added a bit of the Chenin Blanc, roughly a third of a cup and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. This will cook out the alcohol while imparting the flavors of the wine. I chose to try out the Pine Ridge because it’s dry, crisp flavor brings out subtleness in the sauce while pronouncing the heat in the chili flakes. As always, this is an optional ingredient. However, should you so choose, I invite you to use the wine you pair with the dish. Taking in some of the wine with bites, helps bring out new levels of flavor and may give you cause to experiment with other pairings in the future.
  • Before serving over pasta, give the sauce a quick squeeze of lemon. The acidity of the citrus gives a nice contrast to the heat making this a dish that will likely become one of your favorites.

Buon appetito!

Linguine with clam sauce pinterest

Thoughts on Wine Pairing

Try a light oaked California Chardonnay like the 2015 Vinter’s Reserve from Kendall Jackson or Lava Cap’s 2015 Reserve Chardonnay. If you go this route, cut the chili flakes by half as overly spiced dishes can overwhelm the buttery notes and fruit. A dry rosé like Dark Horse’s Limited Release Rosé can be fun to try as well. At the end of the day, GO WITH WHAT YOU LIKE! While there are established conventions saying “whites with fish” and “reds with beef”, take the road less traveled and forge your own path.

And who knew? You can buy wine from Amazon now.

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Linguine with Clam Sauce

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 3 6.5 oz. cans of chopped clams (reserve the juice)
  • 1 Tbsp. + 3 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. garlic puree
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • White wine (I used a 2014 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier as it pairs really well with the dish)
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. package of your favorite linguine (we used a Gluten Free pasta)
Method
  1. Begin by bringing a large pot with salted water to boil. You want to add a little salt to the water as it increases the boiling point and helps to season the pasta as it is cooking. A couple tablespoons of olive oil will also help keep it from sticking together.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat, placing your first tablespoon of butter to evenly coat the pan.
  3. Just as the butter begins to form small bubbles, add the shallot and garlic. Sauté until the shallots become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in your clams, clam juice, parsley, basil, and chili flakes along with your remaining butter into the skillet.
  5. Turn your heat down to medium and continue on until reduced by about half. At this point, I added a bit of the Chenin Blanc, roughly a third of a cup and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. This will cook out the alcohol while imparting the flavors of the wine. I chose to try out the Pine Ridge because it’s dry, crisp flavor brings out subtleness in the sauce while pronouncing the heat in the chili flakes. As always, this is an optional ingredient. However, should you so choose, I invite you to use the wine you pair with the dish. Taking in some of the wine with bites, helps bring out new levels of flavor and may give you cause to experiment with other pairings in the future.
  6. Before serving over pasta, give the sauce a quick squeeze of lemon. The acidity of the citrus gives a nice contrast to the heat.