Beachy Alfresco Linguine alle Vongole
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All this talk of Labor Day and yet…summer isn’t quite over. Soak up the last drops of the season with this recipe for linguine alle vongole (aka clams), from Odette Williams’s new cookbook, Simple Pasta. It’s briny, garlicky and surprisingly easy to make.
“After a long day of swimming and living your best life, you deserve to continue the dream by capping off the evening with a bowl of briny vongole,” she writes. “You can make homemade pasta, like linguine or fettuccine, but I fully back the ease and bite of store-bought pasta here. I’ve popped in some anchovies, prosciutto, a smidge of vinegar and a smattering of garlic breadcrumbs to give this classic clam pasta some oomph.”
A note from the cook: You can (and should) polish off the rest of the wine with your meal.
Reprinted with permission from Simple Pasta by Odette Williams, copyright © 2022. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
2 anchovies, drained and chopped
1 large shallot, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped
⅔ cup dry white wine
3 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (depending on how salty your clam broth is)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup toasted breadcrumbs or garlic breadcrumbs (see note)
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the anchovies and shallot and sauté for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and prosciutto and cook for about 2 minutes more. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine and clams, then cover and cook, occasionally jostling the pan to encourage the clams to open, 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
3. Stir the parsley, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar into the clams and then season with the salt and pepper. Keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, add the linguine to the boiling water and cook for a minute or two shy of package instructions. Using a large spider or tongs, transfer the al dente pasta into the clam broth and toss well to coat. Depending on how much brine the clams have released, you may want to add a little pasta water or a splash of olive oil to loosen and marry everything.
5. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the breadcrumbs on top.
Note: To make garlic breadcrumbs, sauté one cup of breadcrumbs with a few tablespoons butter and a few grated garlic cloves. Stir in a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper.