seafood & herb linguine

Pasta in the summer?  How will I ever squeeze my ample bottom into that cute little two-piece?  Perhaps a little Crisco and a shoehorn.  I kid, I kid…

Today’s feature is a relatively new family favorite that my father discovered a few summers ago when he went on a cooking tear.  My mom works in retail and half the time she’s scheduled for the closing shift.  My father, the old school – or simply stubborn – man that he is, would rather starve until she got home from work at 10:00PM to prepare him a meal than cook one for himself… Until that fateful summer.  Was it a full moon?  I’m not quite sure what happened that June, but something in the universe aligned and he began cooking.  And not only did he begin cooking, but he really seemed to relish in it.  This is something that I think we can all relate to regardless of skill level:  there’s something so utterly gratifying about using your own two hands, taking a pool of raw ingredients, manipulating them with heat and finesse in just the right proportions, and ending up with a rewarding and tasty home cooked meal.

This recipe is a modified version of the first recipe he prepared that summer.  My mother sang both his and this dish’s praises in the weeks that followed and I knew I would have to try for myself.  Cooking pasta in its own sauce sounded a little strange and even a bit intimidating, but I soon found that this technique alone is likely the key to the wonderfully rich, yet light sauce you end up with.  The starch from the pasta seeps out as it cooks, thickening and transforming the delicate wine broth into something much more sumptuous.

So, are you still wondering how I’m going to get into that bathing suit?  Well, take note of the rather hefty seafood portion in relation to the pasta and you will see that the latter is the accessory and the seafood is the backbone.  Yes, there’s a little bit of butter, and, I agree, a nice piece of crusty bread for sopping up the juice would suit this dish just fine.  But really, if you’re looking to watch your waistline, eight ounces of whole grain linguine among four people is actually very modest in American-terms and, quite frankly, a proper portion.  It’s time to absolve yourself of any pasta-related guilt and give in to this mouthwatering recipe with summer written all over it:   scrumptious little sea gems tossed with crisp white wine, fresh herbs, and tomatoes from the garden…. Sign me up!

Seafood & Herb Linguine
Serves 4
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit’s Linguine with Herb Broth & Clams

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
9 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 medium tomatoes, cored and copped
4 cups dry white wine
1 cup water (plus more)
3 pounds (approximately 4 dozen) Manila clams or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 dozen large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 heaping cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 heaping cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 heaping cup chopped fresh oregano
2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
8 ounces whole wheat linguine

Melt butter and olive oil in large deep sauté pan.  Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes until soft.  Add wine and water and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Raise heat and return to broth to boil.  Add clams and cook for 3 to 6 minutes or until they open.  Discard any clams that do not open.  Use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked clams to a large bowl.  Cover with foil to keep warm.

Stir basil, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper into broth.  Add linguine, cover, and cook until pasta is almost tender, but still firm, stirring often; about 8 minutes.  If the liquid evaporates quickly and the pasta requires more moisture, it may be necessary to add water by the ½ cup as it is cooking*.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add shrimp and cook for 1 minute.  Transfer clams and any accumulated juices in the bowl back to the sauté pan.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for an additional 3 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and serve.

* I added almost 2 more cups of water, but this will vary greatly depending on your range-top and the amount of residual moisture from the clam preparation.

A few notes:

  • The broth can be made a day ahead of time.  After simmering the veggies with the wine and water, allow to cool and store in the refrigerator for up to one day.
  • This dish is extremely versatile and can be easily modified with different herb (cilantro and parsley) and seafood (scallops and mussels) combinations .

8 Responses to “seafood & herb linguine”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. wow look delicious!!! I love manila clams, can i used tahong (other types of clam in manila)?

    • KarmaCucina says:

      I think any variety of shellfish would hold up well in this dish. So, sure, tahong clams sound great! I just googled them – good looking mollusks!

  2. Bee says:

    Pasta in the summer is great if it looks as beautiful as this! I think this would be a perfect summer dish with a glass of cold white wine…

  3. grapejelly says:

    could i add any cheese? like goat or parm or mozzarella?

    • KarmaCucina says:

      Hmmm…. I’ve heard that cheese and seafood is a no-no, but that hasn’t stopped me in the past. I think you need to follow your heart and palate – if it tastes good to you, go for it. Out of the three you mentioned, I’d grate some parm. In the meantime, check out this related article in the NYTimes:
      Thanks for stopping by!


  1. […] Shrimp Lettuce Cups (New Asian Cuisine) –Surf Clam Ceviche (Red Shallot Kitchen) –Seafood and Herb Linguine (Karma Cucina) –Roasted Cod Caprese (Oui, Chef) –Healthy Baked Salmon with Pesto Crust […]

  2. […] Shrimp Lettuce Cups (New Asian Cuisine) –Surf Clam Ceviche (Red Shallot Kitchen) –Seafood and Herb Linguine (Karma Cucina) –Roasted Cod Caprese (Oui, Chef) –Healthy Baked Salmon with Pesto Crust […]

Leave A Comment...