Jersey Clams and Linguini
Jersey Clams and Linguini

Jersey Clams and Linguini

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Little Neck Clams (also known in NJ as lilneks) are hard shelled clams with a diameter of less than 2 inches (smaller is preferred). They come about seven to ten to a pound. And they are a JERSEY DELICACY. If you can’t find fresh herbs to pair with them, you may not be from New Joisey… Alright, you can use dried herbs. Fuggitaboutit!

SERVES: 4 or 2 Italians

EQUIPMENT: 6 or 8 quart stockpot, large sauté skillet,

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound linguini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, the good stuff (no virgins)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced like a pro
  • 1 good pinch red pepper flakes/seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
  • A good White wine, drink some and put some in the pan you cheapskate
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 32 or more Jersey Little Neck Clams
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Italian fresh parsley, chopped

PREPARATION

Cook the pasta al dente (if you don’t what that means, ask somebody from North Jersey). Rinse the pasta with cool water to stop the cooking and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil.  Set aside. (The pasta will continue cooking in the sauce. (You got a problem with dat?)

I the large sauté skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining olive oil and butter. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano and cook, stirring occasionally so the garlic does not burn.

Add wine, clam juice and clams, and cook, covered with the vent open, until clams open (about 15 minutes).

Add lemon slices and linguini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing to mix. Top with parsley and serve.

Adapted from The Jersey Shore Cookbook by Deborah Smith page 143