I picked up a couple of dozen Little-necks during my weekly run to the fish truck this week. (The fact that there is a fish truck with remarkably fresh fish and that I’ve been visiting it on the day it’s parked in the next town over still astounds me.) After I brought them home and was contemplating their fate, Mr. Husband pointed out that it’s easy to like clams when they’re in a chowder. Would we also like homemade clams if they were cooked in something that didn’t surround them with butter and cream, that forced you to really face the fact that you were eating bivalves? Point taken. It was time for the Californian and the Arkansan to confront the clam, however ridiculous that might sound.
And so we did, with this Batali recipe for Linguine with Clams. It’s a super-easy preparation, but does demand a mise en place because it goes so fast once you start cooking. Two dozen clams was too many for a recipe that I was halving, but I cooked them all anyway because they needed to be cooked. I also reduced the olive oil to 4 tablespoons instead of 6 and added back in 1 tablespoon of butter. The tomatoes were from the last batch of late ripeners that were lurking in the living room windows, and the pasta was fresh (but not homemade.)
It was wonderful, and pretty much the antithesis of a chowder. We sopped up the sauce with hunks of a garlic boule and served the rest of the bottle of Riesling alongside. I’ll definitely make it again.
So yeah, I guess we like clams.