I've become slightly obsessed with linguine and clams lately - scouring restaurants with my friend Kate in search of the perfect version. Top of the list so far was one we had in Florence last year at a restaurant called Trattoria dei 13 Gobbi (13 hunchbacks). I'm also a fan of Frankies linguine and clams for something closer to home. I'm embarrassed to admit that I have an irrational fear of trying to recreate this even though I've been collecting recipes for years. For some reason, I worry that the clams won't magically open as they do for everyone else.
Until I get over that fear, I will continue making this wonderful and simple recipe that my friend Nina gave me years ago. It has many of the same flavors and none of the fuss! It's completely fail proof, exceedingly fast and utterly delicious. Most importantly, it makes me think of summer even when it's freezing outside!
Linguine with Crab
2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 tablespoon of sea salt flakes
1 large red chile (seeded and finely chopped)
3/4 lb of crab meat (I used Peekytoe)
1/2 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 lb of linguine
1 large handful of Italian parsley (coarsely chopped)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Boil the pasta till al dente (approximately 9 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, smash the garlic and salt together using a mortar and pestle until you create a paste.
3. Add the chile and keep grinding until you have a wonderful red mixture.
4. Pour into a medium-sized bowl and add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and crab meat.
5. Mix well with a fork.
6. Drain the pasta when it’s done making sure to first reserve a cup of the water from the pot.
7. Pour the pasta into a large (warmed) serving bowl and mix well with the crab sauce.
8. Add the parsley and stir again.
9. Serve immediately using the reserved water to loosen the pasta if it feels too dry. You can also add red pepper flakes for heat.