Linguine with White Clam Sauce is a classic Italian dish that has become a staple in many households around the world. With its simple, fresh ingredients and delightful combination of flavors, it’s the perfect meal for a warm summer evening or a cozy dinner party. This authentic Italian recipe will bring the tastes of Italy straight to your table, leaving you and your guests craving more.
- 400g linguine pasta
- 2 lbs fresh clams, scrubbed and rinsed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine according to package directions until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until the garlic is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the clams to the skillet, along with the white wine. Cover the skillet, allowing the clams to steam open, which should take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the cooked clams from the skillet and set aside.
- With the skillet still on medium heat, add the cooked linguine to the pan, stirring in enough reserved pasta water to reach your desired sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
- Gently fold in the cooked clams and chopped parsley, making sure all components are evenly distributed throughout the pasta. Serve immediately, garnished with additional parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
History and Curiosities
Linguine with White Clam Sauce traces its roots back to the coastal regions of Italy, where fresh seafood is a staple in the local cuisine. In particular, the dish is well-known in the Campania region, where the city of Naples boasts a strong tradition of seafood dishes. The simplicity of the recipe allows the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine, showcasing the quality of the fresh clams and pasta.
In Italy, this dish is typically served as a primi piatti, or first course, followed by a more substantial main dish. However, it has become popular as a standalone meal in many countries due to its satisfying combination of flavors and textures.
One curiosity about this dish is the use of white wine in the sauce. While the alcohol content cooks off during the preparation, it leaves behind a subtle flavor that adds depth and complexity to the sauce. Some variations of the recipe may include the addition of cherry tomatoes or even a splash of cream, although these modifications are not traditionally Italian.
Overall, Linguine with White Clam Sauce is a beloved Italian dish that showcases the simple, yet flavorful nature of Italian cuisine. Whether you’re enjoying it on a warm summer evening or sharing it with friends and family, this authentic recipe is sure to leave you longing for the sun-soaked shores of Italy.