Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine with Clams)
Pair with Halter Ranch Grenache Blanc
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
- ⅓ cup chardonnay
- 2 pounds littleneck clams (approximately 24), scrubbed
- ¾ pound of linguine or spaghetti
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Lemon wedges
- Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced garlic a pinch of salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until lightly golden, approximately 3 minutes. Add anchovies and cook until they’ve melted into the garlic mixture 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chardonnay and simmer until reduced to about ¼ cup. Add clams and toss gently to combine. Cover the pot and cook until clams have popped open, 5-7 minutes. Discard any clams that did not open. With a slotted spoon, transfer clams to a medium bowl, cover with foil, and set aside.
- In a very large pot, bring 2 gallons of fresh, cold water and a handful of kosher salt to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions, just shy of al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- Add pasta to the pot with the clam broth along with 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until pasta is al dente and sauce has thickened enough to cling to noodles, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add parsley, lemon zest, and butter and toss gently until combined and butter is melted. Taste for seasoning and add salt and a couple of generous grinds of freshly ground black pepper if needed. Divide pasta among shallow bowls and top with reserved clams and a generous drizzle of your best extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices.