Linguine with White Clam Sauce is by far one of my favorite recipes and one that I have been making for years. Now that I can get fresh clams at The Carolina Meat & Fish Co., this dish is even better.
Prepare your favorite linguine to al dente. Do not forget to salt the water! Drain and set aside.
Soak the littleneck clams in a bit of flour and water for about ten minutes. The clams will ingest the flour and spit it out along with any dirt. Rinse the soaked clams and set aside. Drain the canned clams over a bowl and reserve both clams and the juice.
Heat up a saucepan with the olive oil and butter. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute for a few minutes…do not brown. Add the reserved clam juice plus one small bottle of clam juice and the white wine. Add the dried oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Allow the liquid to come to a fast simmer, then add the fresh clams. Place lid on top of the saucepan and allow clams to open. Remove each clam as it opens and reserve in a bowl.
Once all fresh clams have opened (discard any that do not open) and removed, add the canned chopped clams, zest and juice of the fresh lemon. I also throw in a few dashes of red pepper flakes at this point (feel free to leave out). Allow to simmer just a few more minutes then add fresh chopped parsley.
Arrange cooked linguine in a deep bowl, pour clam sauce on top and stir to coat the noodles. Top with the fresh clams, fresh parsley and a touch more lemon zest. I also like to top mine with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. This pasta is fabulous the next day! ENJOY!