What better way to have your Primo piatto than with Linguini with Clams. Our favorite for us here at This is Italian to serve on Christmas Eve, but this meal can be enjoyed anytime of the year.
Linguini with Clams
(Linguini con le Vongole)
Makes 12 servings
1 pound dried spaghetti
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
5 to 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ½ pounds Little Neck clams, scrubbed clean
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, zested, for garnish
Linguini with Clams (ph This is Italian)
Making the pasta:
In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water.
Add pasta, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
Making the clams:
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. When almost smoking, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the clams and wine. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until most clams have opened.
Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Whisk in butter to thicken sauce slightly.
Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water - this will remove the pasta's natural starches.
Place pasta into the clam saute pan and mix thoroughly. Check seasoning.
Pour pasta into large serving bowl. Zest lemon over the dish, being careful not to zest the white part of the lemon, which is bitter. Garnish with remaining parsley.