This holiday season we’re sharing this simple, but delicious White Wine Clams and Linguine which highlights fresh claims. The sweet clams are steamed in a light broth of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and white wine and served with spaghetti or linguine pasta. My family has served this during the holidays often as part of The Feast of the Seven Fishes. This Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known simply as “The Vigil”.
When it comes to serving your family a feast of seven different dishes, the dishes with less ingredients and complexity sometimes end up being the most satisfying. Here the quality simply of the clams gives it most of its delicious flavor. It’s best to use fresh clams, if possible to really take advantage of their salty sweetness. Cherrystone clams are around 2 to 3 inches in diameter and average between three and five per pound. Little Necks, the smallest hard shell clam also known as having the sweetest taste, usually have around 10 to 12 clams in a pound. They measure about 1 to 2 inches across and are the more expensive of the two types.
- 1 box of linguine (spaghetti or angel hair pasta works as well)
- 25 small clams, Cherrystone or Little Neck
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small brown onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine (we’d suggest a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, or Pinot Blanc)
- 2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
Boil some water in a large pot for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and have it ready around the same time as the clams or just a bit before.
Soak the clams in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-based pot. Add the onion and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic, chili flakes and salt and stir for about 20 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for about 7 minutes until their juice starts to evaporate.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the clams to the pot. Cover with a lid. After about 2 to 3 minutes add the wine to the pot. Cover again and shake the pot from side to side.
Cook the clams for a further 5 minutes or until they open. Add the parsley and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and shake pot again.
Drain the pasta and then pour the clam mixture on top. Stir well and serve immediately.