So to help get you in the mood for beach season, here's a simple and weeknight-friendly version of clams with linguine. It comes together quickly, is deliciously rich, and smacks just enough of briny ocean to get you in the mood for summer.
If clams aren't your thing, you could substitute shelled raw shrimp, scallops or chunks of haddock (the cooking times would be about the same). If you opt for scallops or haddock, you might as well dress the dish up a bit with finishing touch of crumbled cooked bacon.
LINGUINE WITH CLAMS AND LEMON
Start to finish: 20 minutes
12 ounces linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/4 pounds frozen or canned clams, drained
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Torn fresh basil leaves
Grated Romano cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook according to package instructions for al dente pasta. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a deep skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the garlic and shallots, then cook until beginning to brown and smell toasty, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the clams and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the lemon juice.
Add the cooked pasta and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve topped with lemon zest, basil and Romano cheese.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org