Linguine With Clam Sauce

Linguine With Clam Sauce

Feeds 2 to 4, depending on portion size.
By Dennis W. Viau; my own original recipe.

When I first tried working with shallots I sliced one and cooked it in a little oil. I tasted it, wondering what my mind would come up with as a place to put cooked shallots. My mind came up with, “Put this in the trash.” It was just awful, kind of a musty, earthy, fungus-like taste that made me think something had spoiled. But I had bought all these beautiful looking shallots. What to do with them? I came up with the idea to caramelize them, like I do onions, and try tasting again. When I tasted the caramelized shallots, I immediately thought, “This is a flavor that would go well with clams.” And thus I created Linguine with Clam Sauce.

This recipe was my traditional evening meal every Sunday for months. Needless to say, I’ve made this recipe enough times to perfect it. However, as with most recipes, you will want to make adjustments according to your own tastes and preferences. Feel free to experiment.

Ingredients:

1 large shallot (or several small), about 3 ounces total weight
1 10-ounce of can clams, drained, reserve broth
1 tablespoon fat (clarified butter or olive oil)
1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
¼ teaspoon dry oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper, black or white
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves (if available)
8 ounces linguini, dry (or 5 ounces fresh pasta dough)
½ cup marinara sauce, homemade or jarred

Directions:

Slice the shallots into thin slivers and fry in fat over medium-low heat until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add a little clam broth periodically to prevent sticking and to deglaze the pan. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Add the drained clams, oregano, pepper, and olive oil. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces with your fingers (or cut into julienne) and add to the shallot mixture. Combine the mixture and taste for salt.

Cook the pasta until al dente and add to the shallot mixture. Add the marinara sauce. Mix until the pasta is coated evenly.

Serve hot, garnished with cheese.