Important: Use linguini or other thin noodle. The best kind is the fresh pasta found in the refrigerated section. Contadina is my favorite, but there are other brands. You’ll need about a ½ pound of pasta to feed two people.
Start your pasta water boiling while you fix the rest of the dish.
Mince 2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic.
Next, sauté or toast the garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet. It burns easily so be careful!
When the garlic is done, add 2 tablespoons fresh, minced parsley.
Add two cans (5.5 ounce cans) of minced clams including juice and heat slowly.
Add a dash of pepper flakes (two or three sprinkles.)
Add about ¼ cup chardonnay. Splurge and get a decent wine—not one from the “cooking” wine section of the store (salt is added to ”cooking wines”).
Simmer this whole mixture for a couple of minutes. It’s going to be mostly water. Add 4 to 6 tablespoons of heavy cream.
When the pasta is done, add it to the pan with the clams. You need to simmer again, very low for at least 5 minutes. You don’t want to boil off the juice, but you want most of it to soak into the pasta. I usually heat it for about 5 minutes and then turn it off and let it sit another five or ten minutes.
Serve with parmesan cheese and garlic bread.
Note: You can substitute shrimp for the clams—if you do, you’ll need to add bottled clam juice or about 1 cup of chicken broth. Add the chopped shrimp right after the parsley and cook through before adding the clam juice and chardonnay.