Linguine with Clam Sauce

I know that this is a pretty big statement, but I think this is my all-time favorite meal. I can’t say it with 110% certainty because there may be nothing better than my Mom’s red sauce, but believe me when I tell you…this stuff is good. Real good.

I grew up eating my Mom’s Linguine with Clam Sauce all the time and I’ve always loved it. Kara has Ree’s cookbook and I tried this recipe out with Jen awhile back. I was surprised at how easy it was to prepare. You kind of just add a splash of this and a splash of that…and voila! All the flavors go really well together: the garlic, olive oil, wine, lemon, and of course clams.

When I was in Italy over Thanksgiving I ordered Linguine with Clam Sauce twice. I probably could have 5 times, but I tried to be adventurous (more about that when we do our Italy post). It was so delicious. There is something about the pasta there…it just doesn’t get any better. I will say that this is not quite as good as what I had in Italy…but it comes in a really close second!

Note: While I did follow Ree’s recipe pretty closely, I didn’t really measure out the ingredients. I meant it when I said a splash of this and a splash of that. I like mine lemon-y so I was generous with the lemon and I reduced the heavy cream (original recipe was 3/4 cup) because I prefer lighter sauces over rich ones. Also, it’s very important to reserve pasta water because you will probably need it at the end to thin out the sauce and keep the pasta moist.

Here’s what you’ll need. Forgot to picture the olive oil. Choose a white wine you like to drink and drink the rest while you cook!

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan

Add the clams & garlic, cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine. Stir & cook for 3 more minutes

Reduce the heat to low and add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 more tablespoon of butter.

At the end add the heavy cream and fresh chopped parsley

Season with pepper and a pinch of salt

Drain the linguine reserving about a cup of pasta water. Toss in the pasta and add the reserved pasta water as needed

Grate some parmesan cheese on top and eat. Buon Appetito!


 Yield: 4-6 servings

2-10 ounce cans of clams, drained (you can reserve the juice for the sauce if you want)
3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup white wine (any kind you like)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound linguine, or other pasta (cooked according to package directions)
parmesan cheese

Start by boiling water and cooking the linguine according to package directions.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and clams, cook for about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir, deglazing the bottom of your pan. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, until the wine has started to reduce. Lower the heat and add the juice of 1 lemon and the remaining butter. You can add a splash of the reserved clam juice at this point, if you want. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add heavy cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Only add a pinch of salt because the clams are already salty. Cook just until heated through.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water first. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges, if desired.

Source: The Pioneer Woman