Thanks to Rubee's post w/ photo about a month ago, I was inspired to make this classic Italian dish that you see below. I think it's traditionally made w/ spaghetti, but I only had linguine which was a fine alternative. I always have to imbue my twist on everything, so I added a couple of extra things that aren't traditional.
I have never cooked clams at home before, but after seeing how easy it really was, this dish will rotate into my regular repertoire so long as I can get fresh clams. I used littlenecks from a vendor who gets them from WA. The clams were juicy and sweet w/ just the right amount of pleasant chew. Their clam liquor was really miraculous, a true gift from nature that was the backbone of the sauce. I added no salt b/c the liquor was salty enough to season the whole sauce.
For a sauce that looked bland and nearly invisible, the flavor it imparted was staggering. The kind of dish that would have left me speechless and befuddled in a restaurant 10 yrs. ago. I was so pleased w/ the flavor that I thought how I would be proud to serve this to Mario or Marcella, which says alot.
What I basically did: Steamed scrubbed clams in about 1 c. white wine and 2 c. water til they opened. In large saute pan, sauteed shallots and then garlic in fair amount of EVOO til fragrant but not too browned. Then tossed in chile flakes, chopped parsley, rinsed chopped capers and sauteed til fragrant. Added some clam broth (that had the white wine) from the steaming pot. Simmered til evaporated a bit and flavors melded. Finished w/ squeeze of lemon juice and pat of butter. Added linguine that was not fully cooked through and simmered together til linguine was done and had absorbed the sauce. To serve, garnish w/ tiny bit more chile flakes, torn parsley, and drizzle of EVOO. This was all done in under 30 min. and would be a great way to impress guests w/o the stress.
PS. For the wine, I used a Louis Latour chardonnay-viognier 70/30 mix from TJ's called "Duet" that was quite nice and affordable.