Linguine with Clams and Bagna Cauda Butter

What’s better than linguine with clams? Why, linguine with clams doused in a buttery, garlicy sauce, of course. Adapted from a Michael Chiarello recipe, this dish is a little bit Italian country and a little bit wine country. Most importantly, it’s entirely delicious.

Linguine with clams and bagna cauda butter


1 pound dried linguine
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons chopped anchovies
3/4 stick butter
sea salt
4 pounds clams, scrubbed
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. When the oil just begins to warm, add the garlic and anchovies and cook slowly, stirring, until the garlic becomes light brown and the anchovies dissolve, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

2. Process the butter in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cooled garlic-anchovy mixture and a pinch of salt. Process until well blended. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley, reserving the rest. Set bagna cauda butter mixture aside.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta.

4. While the pasta cooks, prepare the clams. Heat a large pot over high heat. When very hot, add the olive oil, then add the clams. When the clams first begin to open, add the wine and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes to drive off the alcohol, then cover and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.

5. Drain the pasta when it is al dente and transfer it to the pot with the clams. Cook over moderate heat for about 1 minute so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Turn off the heat, add the butter and reserved parsley and toss until the butter melts. Serve immediately.

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