This slightly spicy take on classic linguine(+ Belvedere Vodka Sauce!) and clams is hearty but won’t weigh you down. Once you see how simple it is to sauté, boil, and strain, you’ll come back to this recipe as a household classic.
Makes 2 servings
2 dozen hard-shelled small clams or cockles
4 tablespoons butter
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 thyme sprigs
1/2-3/4 cup Belvedere Vodka
1⁄2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley + additional to garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon julienned fresh basil leaves
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1⁄2 pound linguine (whole wheat is always a healthy option)
1⁄2 cup arugula
Chili flakes (optional)
Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 Clean and scrub the clams, discarding any open ones. In a large stockpot, heat the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs and sauté just until fragrant.
2 Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the clams. Cover the pot and steam the clams until they open, about 5 to 8 minutes. Occasionally shake the pan to help them cook. Discard the stubborn (aka unopened) ones.
3 Turn down the heat to medium-low and remove the lid. Pour the vodka over the clams and cook for 1 minute, until the flavors combine. Using a slotted spoon, remove the clams to a side dish and cover them to keep warm.
4 Cook the liquid until the wine reduces by one-third. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and basil. Add the sea salt.
5 Meanwhile, cook the linguine as directed on the box in a large stockpot or pasta pot of boiling salted water. When the pasta is al dente, strain it and rinse it with cold water. Toss the pasta gently in the sauce.
6 Using tongs, divide the pasta between 2 individual dinner plates. Arrange the clams around each plate. Top with arugula to finish. Serve with a little additional fresh parsley, chili flakes, or even Tabasco, if desired. Pairs well with my favorite Belvedere Ginger Zest Cocktails!