Home » Clams » Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce {and Vermouth}

Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce {and Vermouth}

Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce

Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce

Clams! The topic: something I had never used in a recipe. I adore clams but usually order them at a restaurant rather than make them at home. Some things should just be reserved for nights out on the town!  I usually order foods I don’t make at home when dining out.

Yet there I was, picking up a can of clams at the grocery the other day because I had found a recipe that looked like something I could make. It was a fast pasta dish and I’ve gotten rather good at those. I wasn’t going to buy real clams with shells and stuff. I’d save those for the pros. I was just going to do a simple diced clam linguine dish.

I looked at several recipes and as happens most of the time, I used aspects of several different recipes in my final dish. I have to say I kicked hiney; it was awesome! I had to quick sit down and write out what I did, so I could save it for posterity. In other words, I wanted to make it again some time and I’ve learned even though I am sure I’m going to remember a recipe later, I rarely do.  Gal has gotta right it down immediately!

Make linguine al dente according to package directions

Make linguine al dente according to package directions

I had started by boiling salted water and making my linguine. While the water came to a boil I chopped up my ingredients. I wanted red bell peppers (of course), onions and cherry tomatoes. I heated a skillet with olive oil and sautéed the onions, red peppers and a chopped clove of garlic until the onions were translucent.

Saute red peppers, garlic and onions until onions are translucent

Saute red peppers, garlic and onions until onions are translucent

As the pasta bubbled in the boiling water I halved the cherry tomatoes and drained the claims into a bowl, reserving the juice. When the pasta was a little more al dente than I preferred I drained it, reserving several cups of pasta liquid for later use.

Drain diced clams and reserve clam juice

Drain diced clams and reserve clam juice

Next I added the clams to the skillet along with the red pepper flakes and basil. I poured in the heavy cream and let it come to a bubble while I dissolved the cornstarch in the cold water.

Add cherry tomatoes, clams, red pepper flakes and heavy cream

Add cherry tomatoes, clams, red pepper flakes and heavy cream

I slowly stirred the cornstarch mixture into the pan and stirred until it thickened. I added about a cup more of pasta water to thin it a little, then added the vermouth.  Once that was all incorporated, I added the grape tomatoes.

Slowly pour in the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, stirring until it thickens

Slowly pour in the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, stirring until it thickens

I put the linguine into the pan and folded and stirred it to mix. It soaked up the liquid quickly and I added about another cup of pasta liquid. I tested the pasta and it was perfectly al dente; not too chewy and not too limp.

I plated the pasta and garnished it with shredded Parmesan and a sprinkling of dried parsley. I don’t usually have fresh parsley on hand. It looked beautiful and I was anxious to taste my creation.  Noting that I still had the reserved clam juice sitting in a bowl, I double checked my recipe and nowhere was it used.  Hm.  Note to self: drain and discard juice next time? 

Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce and Vermouth

Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce and Vermouth

This was really, really good pasta! I loved the heat from the pepper flakes, the flavors from the vermouth and clams. I like how grape tomatoes just pop with flavor once they’re heated in a pasta dish. I love to include them in the pasta dishes at the end so they retain their plump texture.

The unused clam juice could have been used to make the sauce a bit more clam-y, but I liked the flavors just as they were.  And of course I love my red bell peppers that I put in nearly everything but ice cream. And I’m working on that…

Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce {and Vermouth}

2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic; chopped
1/2 cup sweet red bell pepper; diced
1 medium onion; diced
1 cup grape tomatoes; halved
1 can diced clams; reserve juice (or discard)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup heavy cream
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
12 oz linguine; al dente
1/4 cup vermouth; I used a red one
several cups reserved pasta water
shredded Parmesan (for garnish)
fresh chopped parsley or dried parsley (for garnish)

Prepare pasta according to box directions; drain and reserve several cups of pasta liquid.

In a large skillet heat olive oil; saute garlic, red pepper and onion until translucent. Add clams, red pepper flakes and basil.

Add heavy cream and stir until heated and bubbling.  If you want more clam taste, add some clam juice at this point.  Slowly stir in cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water. Stir until thickened.  Add the tomatoes and heat another minute or two.

Add pasta to the skillet and stir to coat. Stir and fold until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the vermouth; add more pasta water and continue to stir until pasta has absorbed enough to be less al dente.

Serve sprinkled with parmesan and parsley.

Serves 4-6Tiara Logo

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