This dish has so much flavor and so little fat. The original recipe was written for 10 servings, so feel free to double these amounts for easy entertaining.
Servings: 4 generous servings
- 10 ounces dried linguine pasta, preferably whole wheat
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 sprigs thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced leeks (white and light-green parts from 1 large leek, rinsed well)
- 1 cup diced fennel (from 1/2 bulb)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from 2 medium cloves)
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (seeded and drained)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat; add the pasta and cook according to package directions. The pasta will be done before the clam mixture is; drain into a large colander and set aside.
Meanwhile, pour the wine into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the thyme and the clams. Cover and cook/steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until the clams have fully opened. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Reserve the clams and discard their shells and the thyme sprigs.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, fennel, garlic and saffron. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the reserved clam cooking liquid, clams and tomatoes; cook for a few minutes until heated through.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the clams; increase the heat to medium-high or high and toss to combine. Remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately.
Adapted from the Culinary Institute of America's "Techniques of Healthy Cooking" (Wiley, 2007).
Tested by Michael Trimarchi.
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