This is a great recipe for entertaining as it looks elegant and easy to make in under 30 minutes. There is not a lot of sauce in the dish, but the flavor of wine is definitely present.  I chose a Pinot Grigio as I usually pair Italian wines with Italian dishes. Whatever wines you prefer,  pick crisp white wines that have some hints of citrus.  Because this dish doesn’t have a heavy cream or butter sauce, wines that are buttery or oaky, like a California Chardonnay, is not recommended.

If you are not fond of clams or mussels, substitute with shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc.

Serves 6

 Ingredients

  •  2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (can use onions)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 lb Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes with juice (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot, cook linguine in salted water according to package directions for “al dente”.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, and cook for another minute. Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced, approximately 3 minutes.

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Add clams, red pepper flakes, tomatoes and simmer covered until clams open, approximately 5-7 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Reserving about 1 cup of pasta water, drain linguine and add to pan.

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Add butter, lemon zest and juice, toss linguine and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Add reserved cooking water, as needed, if pasta looks dry. Remove from heat. Add parsley, more salt and pepper as needed, drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with additional parsley if desired.

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