Linguine with Clams (Linguine Vongole)

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Is there anything more appetising than a big bowl of fresh linguine with clams? The rich, salty sauce clings to the pasta, as the clams dare you to eat them. Fresh parsley punches through. It seems outrageous that you can make something this tasty in just 15 minutes.

Linguine all Vongole has to be one of my all-time favourite meals when I’m eating my way through Italy. However, this simple recipe is actually inspired by Scoma’s restaurant in Sausalito. Perched on a jetty, sitting across the bay from San Francisco, Scoma’s was one of my newest discoveries while I was in town earlier this year. I had the linguine with fresh Manila clams and it was one of the best meals of the trip.

How to prepare clams for Linguine all Vongole

It’s best to cook with fresh clams on the day you buy them. If that’s not possible, you can keep them in the fridge for 1-2 days. Store them in an open container, covered with a damp cloth. Whatever you do, don’t place them in tap water or in a sealed container. Both options will kill the clams, making them not safe to eat.

When you’re ready to start cooking your clam linguine, take a close look at the clams. Throw away any that are open, chipped or damaged in any way. These are not good to eat and could make you feel quite poorly.

To prepare the clams, fill a large bowl with cold tap water. Let the clams soak in the water for about 20-25 minutes. The clams naturally filter the water, so as they start to breathe they will cleanse themselves of any sand within their shells.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the clams and place in a clean bowl, ready to cook. Do not pour the clams through a colander, as this will just coat the shells with sand.

Linguine with Clams

Quick and easy Linguine alle Vongole recipe

Finely slice 2-3 cloves of garlic and dice about a large tablespoon of white onion. Sauté the garlic and onion in butter in a large, thick-bottomed pan, over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the onion has started to soften.

Coarsely chop a sprig of fresh parsley. Add most of the chopped parsley and a small sprinkling of dried chilli flakes to the pan, with a small glass of white wine and stir the mixture gently.

Place the clams in the large pan and shake for about one minute, so that the mixture coats them, before covering the pan. After about 3-minutes, open the pan with the clams and remove any that are closed.

Meanwhile, add the fresh linguine to a large pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the pasta with tongs and add directly to the pan with the clams. Mix everything together over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, so that the linguine is covered in the sauce.

Using the tongs, place the linguine with clams in a large pasta bowl. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the pasta and season with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Linguine with Clams (Linguine alle Vongole)

Linguine with Clams
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely sliced)
  • 1 tbsp chopped white onion (diced)
  • A sprig of fresh parsley
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 400 g fresh clams
  • 250 g fresh linguine
  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Sauté the garlic and onion in butter in a large, thick-bottomed pan, over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the onion has started to soften.

  2. Coarsely chop a sprig of fresh parsley. Add most of the chopped parsley and a small sprinkling of dried chilli flakes to the pan, with a small glass of white wine and stir the mixture gently.


  3. Place the clams in the large pan and shake for about one minute, so that the mixture coats them, before covering the pan. After about 3-minutes, open the pan with the clams and remove any that are closed.


  4. Add the fresh linguine to a large pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the pasta with tongs and add directly to the pan with the clams. Mix together over a low heat for 1-2 minutes.


  5. Place the linguine with clams in a large pasta bowl, using the tongs. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the pasta and season with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

 

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