I spend the past week on Manasota Key in Florida. My Aunt Nancy lives there, and for the past four summers I've gone to visit...to chill out by spending time on the beach and eating fresh seafood.
The best dinners out this time were a lobster roll (a crispy bun with lots of lobster meat in a light mayonnaise dressing) from Lock 'N Key restaurant and caught-that-morning-in-the-gulf red snapper (seared and served with green bean almondine and fried plantains) from Beach Road Wine Bar & Bistro.
On Thursday, I walked to the little fish market down the road and bought 50 fresh clams for dinner. I specifically wanted to make this recipe...and I'm so glad I did. I plan to make this again at home soon.
Linguine and Clams
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
4 ounces Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
⅓ cup dry white wine
2 pounds littleneck clams (about 24), soaked & scrubbed
12 ounces linguine
½ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Boil pasta according to package directions, but only cook for 1/2 of the time given. Reserve 2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Chop 3 garlic cloves and add to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add panko and cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden and crisp...about 5 minutes. Remove the breadcrumbs to a bowl and stir in salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Thinly slice remaining garlic cloves & add to the Dutch oven with 1/4 cup olive oil. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden all over.
- Quickly stir in wine and simmer until only a couple of tablespoons of liquid are left in pot. Add clams and toss to combine. Cover and cook until clams are open, 5–7 minutes. Using tongs, transfer open clams to a medium bowl, leaving liquid in pot. If any clams are still closed, cover pot again and cook a few minutes longer, then transfer to bowl with others (discard any that have not opened at this point). Cover clams with foil.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to the pot with the clam liquid. Add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cook, tossing constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid a splash at a time if needed, until pasta is al dente and sauce is glossy and thick enough to cling to noodles, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Add parsley& butter and toss until butter is melted. Sprinkle about one-third of breadcrumbs over pasta and toss to combine. Add the cooked clams and toss gently. Divide pasta among shallow bowls and top with breadcrumbs.