A bowl of garlicky clams, steamed in their own juices, with white wine, good oil and plenty of fresh herbs, begs for something to sop up the sauce. A crusty loaf will do. But when something a little more refined is in order, linguine can be even better, especially if you let the pasta finish cooking in the clams’ heady liquid.
Cook Time: 45 minutes
14 garlic cloves
2 pints cherry tomatoes, a mix of
colors is nice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound dry linguine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Smash and peel 8 garlic cloves; peel and finely
chop the remaining 6. Toss the smashed garlic with the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons
of oil, fine sea salt, and ¤ teaspoon black pepper. Spread the tomatoes
out in a layer in one or two baking pans (make sure they aren’t too crowded, so
they don’t steam) and roast tomatoes, tossing occasionally, until bursting, 15 to
In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it is 2 minutes
from being done to taste. Drain.
Return the pasta pot to medium-high heat. Warm 4 tablespoons oil in the pot.
Add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes; cook for 30 seconds. Add the
wine and let simmer 2 minutes. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and garlic. Add
the clams. Cover the pot and cook until the clams open, 5 to 10 minutes. Use
tongs to transfer open clams to a bowl; discard any that do not open.
Add the pasta and fl teaspoon black pepper to the sauce in the pot. Cook,
tossing, until pasta is just cooked through. Return the clams to the pot and toss
with the pasta. Divide mixture among serving bowls. Garnish with mint and
drizzle with more oil.