LINGUINE ALLA VONGOLE (with white clam sauce, for four)

 Pasta, linguine alla vongole (with white clam sauce) 1  Pasta, linguine alla vongole (with white clam sauce) 3

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¾ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup bottled clam juice

1 pound linguine

2 pounds small cockles (up to 1 inch across, a total of 5 to 6 dozen)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

  1. Heat the oil in a 5 to 6 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté the onion, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the wine and clam juice and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
  1. Cook the linguine in a large pot of rapidly boiling, salted water for 9 to 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil (9 to 10 minutes from after the water returns to a boil), or until it is al dente.
  1. While the pasta is cooking, stir the cockles into the sauce and simmer, covered, 4 to 6 minutes (discard any clams that have not opened after 6 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
  1. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain the pasta and add it to the cockles, along with parsley and salt to taste.  Toss until combined well, adding reserved cooking water if necessary to keep the pasta fluid, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve immediately.

NOTE:  You could add 4 ounces of pancetta, sliced into thin strips, to the skillet in step one after the oil is heated.  Saute for 2 minutes, add onion and proceed with recipe.  If you like a lemony flavor, add ¼ cup lemon juice along with the clam juice and wine.

adapted from Gourmet Magazine, June, 2005


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