If you make linguine and clam sauce the way most Americans do—with canned clams—try it the way they serve it at Olio e Piú in New York City.
Eight whole steamed clams surround a plate of linguine.
The linguine is cooked and tossed in olive oil with fresh parsley and placed in the center of the plate.
The clams, lightly cooked in a garlic broth, surround the linguine. EVOO is poured into the other half of each clam shell.
In our interpretation of this dish, we made clams in garlic broth (vongole in brodetto). We also grilled up a side of crostini; the crunch of the bread is a nice counterpoint to the soft pasta and clams, and the arugula adds some color to the plate. You can substitute your favorite garlic bread recipe.
RECIPE: LINGUINE & CLAMS
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for tossing with the pasta
2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
8-10 clams in shell per person
1-1/4 cups white wine
1-1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 package linguine (or fresh linguine)
A modern interpretation of linguine and clam sauce. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | NYC.
For The Garlic Crostini
1 baguette, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/2 to 1 cup ricotta
1-2 cups baby arugula, cleaned and dried
Garlic-ricotta-arugula crostini. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | NYC.
First, make the clams in garlic broth.
1. WASH the clams to remove any dirt or sand.
2. COOK the clams. In a heavy pot over moderate heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown (about three minutes). Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. INCREASE the heat to moderately high and add the clams, white wine, water and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams open (5 to 7 minutes). Discard clams that do not open. Drain the clams and toss with the chopped parsley.
4. MAKE the pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt. While the pasta cooks, grill the bread:
5. PREHEAT the broiler or grill to high. Brush the crostini slices on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill, flipping once, until golden brown and crisp. While the bread is grilling…
6. SEASON the ricotta with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the crostini from the broiler/grill and rub each slice on the top side with the raw garlic. Spread with ricotta and top with arugula.
6. PLATE the pasta in a mound in the center of the plate. Serve clams with the crostini.