Here is a clean-eating version of this generations-old Italian favorite. Feel free to use pre-shelled clam meat in place of the Littleneck clams, but if you do, allow them to simmer for about 5 minutes during step two to let some of the juices to evaporate.
By the time you add the pasta to the clam mixture, you'll be amazed to find how this dinner can be served in about 20 minutes, start to finish!
- 8-oz whole-wheat pasta
- 24 little neck clams, rinsed and scrubbed (NOTE: Opt for fresh, untreated clams as they are lower in sodium. Discard any clams with broken shells or ones that are open and do not close when tapped.) Optional alternate: 1 lb. pre-shelled clam meat
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is a nice choice)
- 1⁄4 cup clam juice or fish stock
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt, divided
- 2 tbsp organic unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted diced tomatoes (I used Italian blend)
- Cook pasta according to package directions using 1⁄4 tsp salt. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 1 tsp butter. Add clams, garlic and pepper flakes, and sauté until garlic is just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, clam juice, 1⁄4 cup parsley and remaining 1⁄4 tsp salt and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook just until clams open, about 10 minutes. (NOTE: To avoid overcooking, start checking clams after 8 minutes and remove them as they open, transferring to a bowl.)
- Discard any unopened clams and stir cooked clams back into Dutch oven. (NOTE: If desired, remove clams from their shells and discard shells.) Stir in remaining 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp butter and pasta and toss well. Divide mixture among serving bowls and garnish with remaining 1 tbsp parsley.