Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Linguine and Clam Sauce


I remember the first time I ever ordered Linguine and Clam Sauce in a restaurant. It was early in our our marriage and I think we had two kids, both of whom were really young. We could still afford to eat at nice restaurants because they would just nibble from our plates. We were at a really high-end seafood restaurant for my husband's birthday and I just knew that I would love Linguine and Clam Sauce. What's not to love -- pasta, clams, garlic? Well, what arrived at the table did not look very appetizing. It looked like brown grease. And that's exactly what Doug told the waiter when we asked him to take it back. He said, "This looks like brown grease," and that waiter's eyes got as big as saucers. It really was a nice restaurant, but, clearly, Linguine and Clam Sauce was not their specialty.

I have tried Linguine and Clam Sauce a few times since, and I have not ever been impressed. Until I tried this recipe. This is what Linguine and Clam Sauce should taste like (in my humble opinion). It should not be creamy, or thick like gravy. It should be just like this. Even my kids love it.

This recipe could not possibly be any easier. If you can boil pasta, you can make this recipe. It's also budget-friendly and, I think, a great recipe to have in any cook's repertoire. Pair it with some good bread and a glass of white wine (or sweet tea) and you have dinner.

The sauce.

Linguine and Clam Sauce
2 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams, with juice
1/4 cup butter
several big glugs olive oil (about 2 T.)
several big glugs vegetable oil (about 2 T.)
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1 T. dried parsley
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 T. dried basil
16 ounce package linguine pasta

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce: Combine clams with juice, butter, oils, minced garlic, parsley, basil, and pepper in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat until simmering; keep warm. When pasta is done, drain and return to pan or large serving bowl. Pour sauce over and toss. Taste and season with salt if necessary.

NOTE: I used fresh parsley and basil. I used about 2 T. chopped Italian parsley and about 1 T. chopped fresh basil. If you use fresh herbs, add them to the sauce when the pasta is almost finished cooking, so they don't cook too long.

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