Linguini with clams is an easy, fast dinner. The first time I ate steamed clams was at Gladstone’s on the beach in Malibu. The sun was sparkling off the blue pacific and the air was briny and clean. A galvanized pail arrived like I’d used as a kid to make sand castles on the beach. It was filled with fresh steamed clams and nothing more. With my face over the pail, I breathed in the heavenly aroma. It smelled like the ocean. I’ve been a fan of steamed clams ever since.
Easy Linguini with Clams
Recently I picked up a netted bag of beautiful little manila clams at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. With a craving for linguine with clams I couldn’t wait to cook them for dinner. Clams should have a fresh, clean ocean scent when you buy them, not a strong or fishy smell. The shells should be clean, unbroken and tightly closed or close when tapped (as they are alive). Buy one pound per person and cook clams within a day of purchase. To store, place them in a large bowl, ice in the bottom, place clams on ice and cover with a damp paper towel.
A Quick and Easy Dinner
In addition to tasting wonderful, cooking clams is fast and easy. You can have dinner on the table in just minutes with a few basic ingredients you probably have in your pantry. They are steamed in a big pot with white wine with a little oil and herbs. As soon as they pop open they are ready to enjoy. For wine, I use a little airline size bottle to cook with. If you don’t want to use wine, use vegetable broth, fish broth or simply water with lemon juice or try these alternatives to wine.
How to Serve
Serve linguini with clams over a bowl of whole wheat or gluten-free linguine or spaghetti and added garlic toast to soak up the flavorful juices. Skip the garlic toast to minimize the starchy carbs and be sure to include a big, leafy green salad for balance and to get your vegetables in.
For another tasty pasta and seafood recipe try my seared scallops with pasta.
Linguini with Clams | A Fast Dinner
- 4 ounces linguini or spaghetti noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium shallot chopped fine or sliced thin
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 pinch red chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds fresh clams Manila or Littleneck
- Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta and cook according to package directions. When done, toss with a little olive oil if desired to keep noodles from sticking.
- In a large deep pot with a tight fitting lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until soft but not browned, stirring. Add garlic and lemon zest and cook 30 seconds.
- Add wine, lemon juice, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Turn heat up and quickly bring to a boil. Add clams and cover tightly with a lid. Shake pan occasionally to distribute clams as they cook. Give clams 3-5 minutes then peak under lid. Clams are done when they are all open.
- When pasta is done, drain, divide between warmed bowls, top with clams, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Add more lemon juice, salt or pepper as desired. Discard clams that do not open.