There’s seafood on my mind. Crawfish. Oysters. Crab. Scallops. Shrimp. Hopefully lobster. All seasoned with Southern spices and lure. I’m thinking of creole dirty rice. French cooking techniques mixed Southern flavors. Spicy red beans and rice. Gumbo seasoned with filé. Jazz music inspired from my Motherland. Warm weather on the gulf coast. Why? I’m going to New Orleans. It’s my first time. The trip is sponsored by The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition. Besides enjoying my favorite cuisine (on location), I’m learning how the seafood industry is moving on after a disastrous oil spill.
Although the trip is soon, I decided to make a quick seafood dish. Albeit, it’s not creole. It’s simple Italian-American Linguine with Clams and Shrimp. The dish is simple, and the taste depends on the quality of ingredients. Use your best olive oil. Roughly chop that parsley. Be generous with the red pepper… if you can handle it. In this version wheat linguine is used, but if white pasta is your heart, then use it.
I’m looking forward to featuring New Orleans cuisine and seafood in the next couple of stories. Although, my itinerary is planned, I would love to hear about your favorite restaurant or place to visit in New Orleans, and if you have any questions about purchasing seafood from the gulf coast, leave it in the comment section below.
Linguine with Clams and Shrimp
- 1 lb. whole-wheat linguine; cooked al-dente according to manufacturer’s directions and reserve 1 cup of pasta water
- Quality olive oil; as needed
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed*
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves; paper-thin sliced
- 4 anchovies; minced
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
- Crushed red pepper; to taste
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 lb. medium-size shrimp; cleaned and deveined
- 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley; roughly chopped
- Garnish: Finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and lemon quarters
- In a large pot, heat 1/8 cup olive oil and butter over medium heat. Working quickly, stir in garlic slices and anchovies. Season with salt and both peppers. When the garlic starts to slightly turn brown (This is important: Don’t let the garlic burn), add pasta water and wine. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in clams and shrimp. Adjust the seasoning. Cover the pot. After the pasta water and wine returns to a boil, cook from 5 to 10 minutes, until the shrimp is opaque and the clams open (discard the clams that don’t open).
- Gently toss linguine pasta and parsley with the seafood. Adjust seasoning.
- When serving, spoon pasta and seafood in plates or bowls. Top with parmigiano-reggiano cheese, a sprinkle of sea salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, lemon and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
- Enjoy with slices of bread and good wine.
- *To Clean Clams: Mix 1/3 cup of salt with water in a large bowl. Brush clams with a with a heavy bristle brush. Place clams in salted water. Let sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
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