Linguini with Red Clam Sauce - New Jersey Style - Chef Charles Knight
There are a number of ways to prepare Red Clam Sauce, but only ONE Classic Method. Recently I had the opportunity to visit New Jersey my home state. One of the wonderful things about the Garden State it is truly a garden of fresh ingredients. Among Jersey tomatoes and silver Queen corn, is the most incredible delight Jersey Clams. The hard clam, or northern quahog has long been a main stay of New Jersey’s coastal communities. When in a seafood store or supermarket you can buy “Little Neck “, “Top Neck “, “Cherrystone” or “Chowder” clams all of which refer to varied sizes of hard clams. Jersey Clams are very tender and not chewy like most others. Enjoy!
Prepping fresh clams:
Using a brush clean the fresh clams under cold running water. Place the clams in a bowl and fill it with filtered or purified water. Do not use chlorinate tap water as it could kill the clam and alter the taste of the sauce. Adding salt or cornmeal to the water will encourage the clams to spit out sand from inside their shells. Shuck and place the clams and the liquor in a large measure cup. You will need about 4 to 5 cups of clams and clam liquor for this recipe.
PREPARATION: 45-Minutes - Make 4 to 6 servings
EQUIPMENT: French chef knife, Cutting Board, 5-Qt. for the Sauce, 8-Qt. Pasta Pentola for the Past, and Kitchen Machine food cutter for the cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped #2 blade
- 7 cloves garlic, minced fine
- ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped (CENTO Brand)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- ¾ cup Port or Chianti red wine
- 2 teaspoons sugar (if not using Port wine)
- 1 tablespoon dried basil, or fresh, chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano dried, or fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper seeds
- 4 cups fresh clams with liquor or 5 6½ ounce cans chopped clams and liquid
- Save 2 or 3 in the shell to cook in the sauce until open fully
- ¼ cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated #1 cutting cone
- 1 pound linguine pasta, cooked al dente
- ¾ cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated #1 cutting cone
- Fresh basil, chopped
In the 5-quart Saucepan sauté onion and garlic in unsalted butter over medium heat until tender and lightly browned (caramelized), 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add sun dried tomatoes with olive oil. (There should be enough olive oil with the sun-dried tomatoes to brown the paste). Add tomato paste and fry until sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste turns Indian-red. Tomato mixture will leave residue on bottom of pan, be sure to stir to prevent from burning. De glaze the pan with wine and cook down until tomato wine mixture thickens and the alcohol cooks off.
Add sugar (if using), herbs and spices, mix well and simmer uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Stir occasionally. Add clams, mix, and simmer an additional 15 to 20 minutes. To thicken, stir in Parmigiano cheese.
TO SERVE: Place a small amount Parmigiano cheese on the serving plate, then swirl the linguine onto the plate. Smother with Red Clam Sauce and top with grated cheese and fresh basil.