Friday, January 14, 2011

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

Thank you all for the kind birthday wishes!  The weather was terrible.  Instead of my requested trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens (they are quite lovely in winter), a stop at a few favorite stores in Highland Park and lunch at Prairie (all of which has merely been postponed), we stayed in, puttered around (nothing too much on my part as the birthday girl), watched "My Life as a Dog" (funny and poignant) and had a delicious hamburger (prepared by A. at my request).  The cake (which some of you have asked about) will come later in my celebration with my dear friends and birthday month sharers.  Last evening at my Muse meeting, I was served a delicious Black Forest trifle with candles!  My philosophy is if you have to age, take a long time doing so!!  The celebrations have just begun!

Taking down the Christmas tree and putting away the rest of the holiday decor puts me in the mood to clean out even more.  This time the refrigerator and pantry was on my radar to dig into, use up and make more user friendly.

As I was working on the pantry, I realized that I had almost everything I needed to make this linguine with red clam sauce.  The recipe was given to me by our pediatrician's wife when we lived in Texas.  She had adapted it to use canned clams as fresh ones were just not available to us in Lubbock at that time.  Although I've occasionally added a few fresh clams for visual interest, the canned work very well.

This is truly a winter recipe as it uses dried herbs and canned tomatoes.  Don't be tempted to leave out the anchovies as they add a very nice and subtle flavor dimension to the dish.  I assure you, no one will glance over and ask "are there anchovies in the sauce"?

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce from Connie I. and From the Kitchen

1 (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
3 fat cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/3 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
4 flat anchovies, rinsed and finely minced
1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams with their juice
2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 (16 ounce) package of linguine.

1. In a large pot, combine the tomatoes, capers, garlic, sugar, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper,  anchovies and clam juice.  Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer for about an hour.  Stir occasionally. 

2. Prepare the linguine according to package instructions.

3. Add the clams and chopped parsley to the sauce and cook for another five minutes.

4.  Serve over pasta.