- M.F.K. Fisher born (1908)
Linguine with Clams, Mussels, and Peppers
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 slices fresh chile
- 1/2 Pound clams, scrubbed
- 1/2 Pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1/2 Cup dry white wine
- 1 Cup water
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 Pound dried linguine
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1/4 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
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Linguine with clams is a timeless classic that's easy to prepare and delicious any time of year. This Italian pasta dish gets a bit of an update with the addition of mussels and sweet bell peppers, but it still comes together very quickly once all the prep is done.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in each of 2 deep, wide pots over medium heat. Smash 2 cloves of garlic. Add a smashed garlic clove and a piece of the chile to each pot and cook just until the garlic is aromatic, about 2 minutes.
Add the clams to one pot and the mussels to the other. Divide the wine and the water between the pots, cover tightly, and pan-steam until the shells open completely, 7-8 minutes. Discard any unopened clams or mussels.
Transfer the clams and mussels to a bowl and let cool until you can handle them. Pull the meat from the shells and place in a bowl. Strain the cooking liquid from the shellfish through a coffee filter and reserve separately.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and stir to submerge and separate the strands. Cook, uncovered, until the pasta is almost cooked, 6-7 minutes (check the cooking time for your pasta and cook it 1 or 2 minutes less than the recommended time). Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to adjust the sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, mince the remaining garlic. Heat the remaining oil in a wide saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté just until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes are heated through. Add the reserved cooking liquid from the clams and mussels and simmer until everything is very hot and the liquid is reduced, about 3 minutes.
Drain the pasta in a colander. Pour the drained pasta into the saucepan with the peppers and tomatoes. Continue to cook until the linguine has absorbed the liquid, 2-3 minutes. Add the steamed clams and mussels and the parsley. If the dish appears too dry, add a bit of the reserved cooking water. Serve the linguine at once in a heated serving bowl or in pasta plates.
Note: This dish cooks very quickly, so you'll need to have a pot of water coming to a boil while you cook the clams and mussels. Then, once the mussels and clams are cooked and the pasta is submerged in the water, start sautéing the garlic and peppers to complete the dish.