CLAM SAUCE, WHITE
Two full portions
Recipe for 2 needs 24 clams
THE CLAMS and broth
Cover a pan and simmer-steam little necks open with 1 cup dry white wine.
Remove the clams from the steam bath as they open and set into bowl.
Allow clams to cool and then pull out the clam meat, cut the clams in halves or quarters, and set aside.
Measure the broth.
If less than one cup, return the volume to a full cup by adding more wine.
Note that if we have to add wine, we’ll have to actively-simmer the broth to evaporate out the alcohol from the newly-added wine. Five minutes should do it.
Cover the clams with some of the broth and hold aside until ready to add the clams to the sauce.
Make a simple AGLIO e OLIO sauce:
8TB olive oil
8 garlic cloves sliced thinly
Very slowly fry the garlic slices until lightly browned.
Purpose here is to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor.
In turn, the oil will flavor the pasta and the clams.
When we are happy with the fragrance of the oil and the color of the garlic, stop the fry quickly by pouring ¼ cup water into the pan.
To our taste, we’ll add none, one, or more of the following.
Use your imagination.
1 small dried red chili, coarsely broken up.
2 or more canned anchovies, to our taste.
2 TB lemon zest chopped fine.
¾ cup chopped fresh basil and/or parsley.
And add the clams. Without any of the clam broth.
And if we’re not using leeks, slice two scallions into thin circles and add them.
Cook the adds for a little bit: a simmer for less than five minutes.
Use a wok to boil the linguini.
Don’t have one?
It’s worth buying a wok just to boil pasta.
Stop the boil when the pasta is still chewy.
Drain the pasta. Thoroughly. Leave no water.
Quickly return the pasta to the wok.
Add the cup of clam broth and heat the pasta until all of the broth is absorbed.
Don’t add more than the 1 cup even if we have more. Drink it.
The pasta will absorb all of the clam broth and soften from very chewy to simply al dente.
Add the clams and garlic sauce and 1TB fresh lemon juice to the pasta and toss.
Note that this is an oil sauce not a clam-soup sauce where the pasta swims in broth.
Drizzle 1TB of extra virgin olive oil over the top of each portion.