The only “specialty” ingredient that I like to use for this dish is Cento brand clam juice. I find it has a much richer clam taste and really intensifies the flavor of my sauce. Unfortunately, I can only find this product at my local Italian specialty store. I usually stock up whenever I go there. Depending upon where you live, you may be able to find it at a regular supermarket. My local Publix carries some Cento products, but not the clam juice. I have, however, made this dish with other brands of clam juice and it is always delicious.
So, without further ado, here is the recipe:
Linguine with White Clam Sauce
1 lb. dried linguine
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 c. white wine
2 bottles clam juice
4 cans chopped canned clams, drained, broth reserved
1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp cold butter
Bring a large pot filled with salted water to boil for the pasta. When water is boiling, cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
Heat a large skillet or saute pan on medium heat. Add olive oil.
Add garlic and saute until lightly golden, taking care not to burn it. If it does start to burn, remove it for a few seconds and lower the heat a bit. Then resume.
Add wine, bottled clam juice and 1 cup of the reserved broth. Raise heat to medium-high.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by approximately 1/3. The alcohol will cook off and the flavors will intensify. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Add salt and red pepper flakes, if desired.
About a minute before the pasta is finished cooking, add the chopped clams to the sauce and stir. If you add the clams too soon, they can become rubbery. Then, add the butter on top and cover.
Add the drained linguine to the sauce in the pan and toss.
Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.