I've had a can of chopped clams in my pantry for about 4 months now and they've just been staring at me, as if saying, "use me...use the clams!" Finally today I couldn't stop glancing at the clams and decided to make linguine with clam sauce. One of my all time favorite clam sauce is from The Old Spaghetti Factory and that's basically the type of sauce I was going for. My creation didn't quite taste like the sauce at OSF, but it was quite yummy. You can use fettuccine, like I did, or spaghetti if you don't have linguine on hand.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 for lunch or 2 for dinner)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- half of an onion, chopped
- 6 button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- pinch red pepper flakes
- pinch oregano
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or dry champagne
- 1/4 cup reserved clam juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 (6.5 ounce) can of minced clams, drained with juice reserved
- 1 package linguine pasta
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, optional
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and red pepper flakes, and cook stirring constantly until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and pinch of oregano and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, just until fragrant. Pour in the wine and let reduce, about 5 more minutes. Add in the reserved clam juice, and simmer over low heat for another 5 minutes.
Gradually stir the half-and-half cream into the skillet, and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, but do not boil, until it's thickened and sauce reduced by about half. If sauce gets too thick, add in about 1/4 cup pasta water to thin it out a little.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente.
Add clams to the sauce, and cook just until clams are heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and serve over linguine pasta and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, if useing.