There are a number of recipes where the less you do the better the dish. Lobster rolls and crab cakes come to mind immediately. What you want is the taste of the main ingredient without a lot of other flavors vying for attention. Linguini with clam sauce is another such dish - not only does it benefit from not being fussed with, but by the time the pasta is cooked, dinner is three minutes from the table!
6 ounces linguini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 plump garlic clove, grated
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
¼ cup white wine
2 dozen littleneck clams
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Put the clams in a large container, cover with cold water and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow them to disgorge any sand. Scrub the clams thoroughly and set aside.
- Put 4 quarts of water on to boil in a large pot. When the water comes to a boil, season lightly with salt, add the pasta and cook for two minutes less than the recommended time. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, just until fragrant. Add the pepper flakes and cook for a moment or two more. Add the wine and clams and turn the heat to high. Cover the skillet and cook until the clams open - about 5 minutes. Use tongs to transfer opened clams to a bowl. Discard any clams that do not open.
- Add the reserved pasta water to the skillet, bring to a boil and add pasta to pan. Cook over high heat, turning with tongs until pasta is fully cooked. Add the clams and any accumulated juices to the pan and toss with the parsley to combine.
- Transfer to warmed serving dishes. WATCH THE VIDEO DEMONSTRATION
I am cooking this tonight. Thank you for a great video - well-made and demonstrated.