Linguine with Clam Sauce

Recipes by Nancy Johnson | Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

Quahog is a species of hard-shelled clam that comes in four sizes: Littlenecks are the smallest quahog, top necks are medium-sized, cherrystones are larger and the largest are simply called quahogs. Prepare clams the same day you purchase them. Clams should be tightly closed and should open only after cooking. Discard any that don’t open. If fresh clams aren’t readily available, look for frozen. Or skip the littlenecks and add a third can of drained whole baby clams to this recipe. Serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread to soak up the juices.

1 pound linguine

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

2 TBS butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans (10 ounces each) whole baby clams, drained

16 littleneck clams, scrubbed and cleaned

1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine according to package directions.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, stir olive oil and butter until butter melts. Cook garlic 1 minute or until softened. Add canned and fresh clams, clam juice, white wine and lemon juice. Cover and simmer about 5 to 7 minutes, until clams open. Remove fresh clams and set aside. Combine clam mixture with linguine. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates. Top each serving with 4 fresh clams. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Gary: Crisp whites with firm acidity will cleanse the palate to enhance the flavors in this recipe and augment the lemony and salty Parmesan flavors. Try the classic Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, Sauvignon Blanc/Sancerre/Pouilly-Fumé, Albariño, Pinot Blanc or a crisp Picpoul from the south of France.

 

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