White Wine Clam Linguini

I saw the movie Ratatouille on TV last night. I adore that movie. I specially like when the food critic explains to Linguini his passion for food: “I don’t like food, I love it. And if I don’t love it, I don’t swallow!” I should have taken the critics advice and not swallowed this evil, bad clam.

I always wanted to make clams. They look so appetizing to me. The first time I saw this dish was in the island of Ischia, Italy on a beachfront restaurant Mark took me to. I can’t remember what I ordered that day, but I do remember what the people next to me ordered. It was a big bowl of linguini with bright red grape tomatoes, topped with clams still intact to their shells. It looked absolutely wonderful. 5 years later I still had not tasted clams…until last week when I made this recipe.

Maybe I didn’t cook the clams right, or maybe I got some bad clams, but it was a terrible experience for me. When the clams were cooked I decided to take a quick taste and picked out the smallest one out of the bunch. It was chewy, but not bad. A few minutes later I had my second one. This clam was much different, and one I will always regret eating.  I still want to gag when I think about it’s thick creamy center that was clinging to the back of my tongue, as if I had eaten a clam filled with shortening. I tried washing it away with water, to no avail. I can’t imagine people liking clams if that is truly what they taste like, which leads me to believe that maybe that was just one bad clam. Dinner time commenced was ended without Mark nor I having the strength to taste another one. It will take one extremely appetizing clam cooked by an acclaimed chef to get me to try again. Once we picked out the clams we had some fantastic spaghetti, thank god! (I know, I said it was linguini…but I lied. Spaghetti and clams just does not sound good…).

A much better seafood substitution would be shrimps. Yum! So below you will find the recipe for White Wine Shrimp Linguini (or spaghetti).

Wine Sauce Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 shallots, minced (or 1/2 onion)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt + pepper
  • 1 lime + zest
  • 1/2-1 c. dry sherry or any dry white wine

Additional Ingredients:

  • Linguini or spaghetti
  • Shrimps (or clams if you are brave)
  • Kalamata olives (or a combination of green and black olives)
  • Capers (found in olive section)
  • Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Add about 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter to pan. Add shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add sherry or wine. Zest lime or lemon and add to the wine. Add 1/2 of lemon juice, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. (If you want to add clams, add to wine sauce and cover. In about 10 minutes they will have opened).
  2. Meanwhile, boil pasta until just under al dente (about 7 minutes…it will continue to cook in the sauce).
  3. Add shrimps to sauce once it was simmered, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.

4.  Add the pasta into the white sauce. Add the rest of the lime juice. Add the kalamata olives, the capers and the parsley.

Serve with bread…

And a side of caesar salad.

NOTE: if you want to make the clams, clean them first by placing in a bowl of cold water and a tbsp of vinegar for about an hour. This will get rid of a lot of the sand inside the clams.

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2 Responses to “White Wine Clam Linguini”

  1. Very lovely looking dish…Clams can be tricky:(

  2. I am sorry about your clam experience 😦 But I am glad you shared the experience with us.

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