WHAT IS CLAM SAUCE?
This is another popular Italian pasta topping involving olive oil and a core ingredient – in this case minced clams. Or if the clams are still in their shells even better! That way you’ll have both a tasty and visually stunning dish. The sauce is called “white” because of the clear nature of the white wine and olive oil used as a base. Red clam sauce for example just adds diced, crushed and a bit of tomato puree to this recipe. Black clam sauce, which you never see, is the white sauce recipe with squid ink. While not as visually appealing (though more shocking), you can have some fun and use a colored pasta (red) to make an impression! Our favorite though is the white clam sauce recipe below.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING CLAM SAUCE
- Do Clams and Pasta Mix?
White clam sauce is a versatile topper for any type of string pasta. Use it with spaghetti, fettucini, bucatini, or even angel hair. Of course, it’s most traditionally paired with linguine and we love that too. You’ll be surprised at how easy this recipe is but how impressed your guesst will be when you put it in front of them.
- Fresh or Canned Clams?
Choose from the excellent canned clams on the market. They make it easy to make this this dish whenever you want. Frozen clams are also available. These are a good option between canned and fresh. If you use frozen clams, defrost them completely in the refrigerator then drain before using. But if you can get fresh clams, try to use them–their texture is a bit more robust. When you use fresh clams, be sure that you only use those that have opened fully during the cooking process–don’t eat clams you have to pry open! This means they are not fresh and dangerous to consume.
- Can It Be Creamier?
If you would like your clam sauce to be creamy, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to the mixture in its final 3 to 4 minutes of cooking.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH CLAM SAUCE?
In terms of pastas, linguine is a classic. But other long cuts like bucatini or tagliatelli will work as well. For a glass of wine, look to a nice Chablis or Pinot Grigio for a refreshing, chilled contrast. If you’d like to pair this with a cheese plate, a nice gourmet burrata drizzled with some olive oil, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper over it (use a pepper mill). (written by Chef Stef)