Karin's Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Leftovers are one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. From turkey sandwiches to turkey soup, I’m happy finding ways to enjoy the bounty of the bird. But once the last of the remnants of the feast are gone, I’m in the mood for something totally different. I turn from the turkey casseroles of the previous days to one of my favorite dishes, Linguine with White Clam Sauce.

I tried many recipes for the popular Italian pasta dish, but most fell flat in the flavor department. So, I came up with my own version, which until now has been a guarded recipe. My version of the classic is saucy and redolent with chopped shallots, green onions and garlic. The vegetables are sauteed in a combination of butter and olive oil, then oregano, chopped fresh parsley, ground black pepper and white wine are added to the mixture. When added, the enticing aroma fills the house, and the family comes running.

But the sauce doesn’t end there. Chicken broth and the juices from four cans of clams are added, and the mixture is allowed to reduce by one-third. The drained clams are added during the last two minutes, and the sauce is poured over linguine and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 green onions, minced
  • 1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 6.5-ounce cans minced clams, drained and juices reserved
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pound Linguine pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 Hunk Parmesan cheese, for grating over the pasta
Heat a very large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted and bubbling, stir in minced green onions and shallots. Saute until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in oregano, black pepper and chopped parsley. Add white wine, chicken stock and reserved juice from the clams and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until sauce is reduced by 1/3, about 8 to 10 minutes.

When sauce is reduced, stir in minced clams and salt to taste and heat through, being careful not to boil. Serve immediately over the pasta. Top each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings. 

Note: The sauce can be made ahead. Prepare to the point of adding the clams, cover and refrigerate. Refrigerate drained clams in a separate airtight container until ready to use. Heat sauce to a simmer, then stir in clams. Let clams simmer for 2 minutes, and serve immediately.