Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine With Clams)
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

2 medium leeks 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 3 dozen Manila clams or littlenecks, scrubbed 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 fresh bay leaf, broken Kosher salt, as needed Freshly ground black pepper, as needed 1 lb linguine 4 teaspoons…

CIA FOODIES


Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine With Clams)

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 2 medium leeks
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 dozen Manila clams or littlenecks, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 fresh bay leaf, broken
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 lb linguine
  • 4 teaspoons coarsely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

Directions

  1. To prepare the leeks, trim the root ends and the dark green leaves, leaving behind the white and light green parts of the leek. (You can save the leek tops to add to stocks or broths.) Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and clean them thoroughly under cold running water, making sure to remove any dirt that might be trapped in the layers. Let the leeks drain, and then cut them into thin slices that look like little half-moons. You should have about 2 cups.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender and softened without any browning, 5 to 6 minutes. Lift the leeks out of the pan with a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate, and set aside.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add enough of the remaining oil to liberally coat the pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is aromatic and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the clams, wine, and bay leaf. Cover the skillet and cook until the clams are completely opened, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved leeks, taste the sauce, and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the linguine all at once and stir a few times to separate the pasta. Cook uncovered at a boil until the pasta is just tender to the bite but still al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer a few ladlefuls of pasta water from the pot to a bowl or cup to have ready for finishing the sauce. (You may need up to 1/2 cup.)
  5. Drain the pasta immediately through a colander. Shake well to remove any water clinging to the pasta. Pour the drained pasta into a large serving bowl.
  6. Add the clam sauce, the parsley, and 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to the linguine and toss them together until the pasta is evenly coated. The sauce should cling slightly; if it does not, you may wish to stir in the butter.
  7. Serve at once.

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