By LINDA GIUCA
Special to the Courant
June 27, 2013
There's nothing quite like a bowl of spaghetti bathed in the briny juices of fresh clams and presented with the opened shells and their ocean morsels scattered across the top. The dish also brings to mind the incomparable New Haven-style white pizza topped with freshly shucked clams.
But when a workday has been particularly hectic and making a quick stop at the supermarket seems like a chore, going home to a well-stocked pantry is its own reward. The inspiration for this pasta dish began with a lone can of baby clams almost hidden in the back of the cabinet. The clams along with some pasta and other staples turned the prospect of a dull dinner into a feast.
Stock up on a few essentials such as the clams and a bottle of clam juice, and this linguine with clam sauce will practically make itself the next time the question, "What's for dinner?," leaves you stumped.
LINGUINE AND CLAM SAUCE
>>1 pound linguine, cooked in salted water until desired doneness, strained and set aside
>>1 tablespoon olive oil
>>3 strips bacon, minced
>>1 cup finely chopped onion
>>4 cloves garlic, smashed
>>1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
>>1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
>>1 cup white wine
>>1 (10-ounce) can baby clams
>>1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
>>1 tablespoon butter
>>1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
>>Juice of 1 lemon
>>Salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauce pot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, bacon, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer until wine is reduced by about half. Drain the liquid from the canned clams, set aside the clams and add the liquid and the bottle of clam juice to the pot. Return to a simmer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the butter and parsley. Stir in the baby clams and pasta and cook for 45 seconds. Add the juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated pecorino cheese. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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