Quick and cheap Linguini with Calm Sauce.

So I have no idea why, but I had a sudden and strong craving for Linguini with Clam Sauce. Not a tough craving to fix, however I had two things working against me. One, I have put myself on a strict budget. Two, it is too cold to walk over to The Chelsea Market. So I have to go to my corner grocery store, buy the basics, and make sure I make enough for lunch tomorrow too!!
So I bundled up and off I went.
Now if I could spend money without really having to pay attention I would have gotten a mix of fresh clams and the canned minced clams, but today it's just the minced.
 I will also need flat leaf parsley, garlic, and the linguini.
You will need a few more items but you might have them at home already.
You will definitely need grated cheese (your choice of what), olive oil, and an acid. Most people will use white wine, lemon juice, or in my case both.

Once you are ready to start making dinner, begin by starting to heat your water for the pasta.
While that is heating also get a large saute pan over medium heat and pour good amount of olive oil in there.
While your water and oil heat up start chopping up your garlic, parsley and open the clams. I used 3 medium sized cloves of garlic, and chopped about a cup of parsley. I think it is important to have a lot of parsley. It not only adds the taste of freshness that we are loosing by not having fresh clams, but it is the only color in the whole dish. It just won't look good without it!
Now the water might not be ready just yet but if it is you can put the pasta in. The oil will be hot by now so add your garlic. If the water isn't at a boil yet don't worry. When ever it boils is fine.
Once your garlic gets a bit soft you want to add your clams and the parsley. The clams will come in "clam juice"- whatever that is. You can drain most of the that juice away but keep a little. That will add to the flavor of the sauce, and it will add to actually creating the sauce.
Once everything is in the pan cooking away you can season it a little with salt, pepper , and if you like it, crushed red pepper.
It's also time to add the wine. I like Sauvignon Blanc but whatever you like is fine. About 5 glugs from the bottle. I also added the juice of half a lemon.
Now just let that cook for a few minutes and then lower it to low until your pasta is cooked. If you had fresh clams, now would be the time you would add them to the sauce to cook them. You would need to cover the sauce if this is the case.
So Once the pasta is done, you are just about done too. Do not drain the pasta. You want to just transfer the pasta which should be quite al dente straight from the water to the sauce. If there are fresh clams in the pan take them out first. The pasta water that will come along with the pasta will help create the sauce.
Once you have transferred all the pasta into the pan, add another ladle or 2 of the pasta water, and start to combine everything. This is also the time to add the grated cheese. The exact amount would be LOADS of it!!!! I like to add a bit more choped parsley too. If you have chosen to use fresh clams add them back in once everything is combines and seasoned to the way you like it.

So that's it! The ultimate 30 minute meal. All you need to do it plate and eat!
I hope you try this and love it. It's super garlicly, so adjust to your own taste. But any Italian will tell you it's meant to be the kind of dinner you eat if your afraid a vampire will be trying to bite you later in the night. After this one you won't be attracting any vampires.... or anyone else for that matter. But it's so good it's worth it!!!

Enjoy your dinner!
Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turns out!


Paul Cucinello said…
Wish I had been around for this one!! Looks AMAZING!!!
Anonymous said…
I just made this from your recipe. It was so good. Totally hit the spot! Thanks!
I need the recipe for calm sauce...;-) this looks delicious though.

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