Assuming you like seafood, linguine with white wine and clam sauce is one very delicious, yet easy to make dish. It’s also pretty classy and bound to impress your guest(s) (assuming they too like seafood). You can also skip the linguine, cut up some fresh baguette, and serve this as an appetizer. If you don’t like seafood, I don’t think we can be friends anymore, sorry.
I’m just kidding, you non-seafood-lovers are welcome to read along too. Serves 2 as a main, 4 as an appetizer.
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Linguine or bread, or both! (depending on what you want to make)
- 1 lb./.5 kg fresh clams (canned clams also work, although I prefer them fresh)
- White wine, about 1-2 cups/240-475 ml (I add wine throughout the cooking process little by little and just keep taste-testing to make sure I like the end result)
- Parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Make sure the shells aren’t chipped or broken and are shut as tight as a…..clam? If the shells are open, try and tap on them (assuming you don’t have to climb over a counter to do this). If they’re fresh, they should slowly close. This means they’re not dead and, with seafood, the fresher the better, obviously. Another plus is that clams are easier to clean when still alive. Just try not to think about that when you’re cooking them otherwise you’ll feel pretty terrible.
Cleaning the clams:
As soon as possible after buying them, stick the clams in a large bowl and cover with water. Let them sit for 20 minutes and they’ll naturally filter the water and push out any grit or sand that they’ve collected. If they’re especially sandy you can repeat this process a few times. When finished, pull the clams out of the water and scrub the shells with a bristly brush or even salt (I have to admit, I usually omit this process because the clams I get here don’t have very dirty shells. Maybe German fishermen are anal about the clams they catch?).
Now, onto the good part:
Saute the garlic and onion in butter (go ahead and be generous with the amount) until translucent. Throw in the tomatoes and saute for a minute or two. When the pan gets a little dry, add in the white wine and clams and cook until the sauce has reduced by half and has reached the consistency and taste that you like. I like mine to be still liquid, but a little thickened. It usually takes around 30-40 minutes. You can also add the clams later, as they only take a few minutes to cook, but I like to leave mine in longer so that the sauce can absorb as much clammy flavor as possible. You’ll know when they’re cooked when they open. Remove any clams that don’t open though, as these aren’t fresh. Stir in the parley, season with pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper, and more butter (you’ll probably go to the gym tomorrow, so no worries, right?). Ladle the finished product over linguine and garnish with parsley. Alternatively, serve alongside bread as an appetizer.