Linguine Alle Vongole (or “Spaghetti with Clams”) is a popular dish throughout Italy, particularly in the southern Campania region. It’s a dish that I featured on the menu when I was at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and it’s always been very popular with guests because it’s approachable, balanced and healthy. Here at Boulevard, we serve it with our own house-made linguine, and it’s become an instant classic.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon shallots, finely minced
1/6 Fresno chili pepper, cut in half lengthwise
12 medium-sized local Manila clams, rinsed (I like to get mine from Lobster Man on Granville Island, or Seafood City)
¼ cup dry white wine
4 whole tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup canned D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes (make sure “D.O.P.” is on the label, as this certifies they are grown in Italy and in compliance with strict quality standards)
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
salt to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
fresh-cracked black pepper
Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add a pinch of salt, drop in fresh pasta and cook to desired tenderness. Drain well and set aside.
Heat a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots, chili and clams. Cook for approximately 20 seconds, being sure to stir contents constantly so they don’t burn.
Deglaze by adding white wine and stirring to incorporate ingredients into a sauce. Turn the heat up to high and cover with a lid. Cook until only 20 percent of the original white wine quantity remains, approximately 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and tomato sauce to clams, and let simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add basil, salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, unsalted butter and fresh-cracked black pepper. Clams have a built-in timer, and you’ll know they’re done cooking when they’re fully open.
Transfer drained pasta into sauce and toss well to coat.
Twist a fist-sized portion of pasta into a neat, round nest in the middle of your desired serving dish. Garnish with sauce, clams and shrimp. Serve and enjoy.