Linguine and clam sauce was one of those “restaurant” dinner dishes I grew up eating and loving. But the kind I ate was the kind made with lots of butter and heavy cream. And it wasn’t made with gluten free linguine or zucchini noodles either! But if you love linguine and clam sauce I promise you will fall in love with this clean and super flavorful version.
Surprise Superfood Takes Linguine and Clams Sauce to a Whole New Level!
One of the things that gives this cleaner version of clam sauce such incredible flavor is the addition of the minced and “meaty” shitake mushrooms. I realize the idea of adding shitakes to clam sauce might sound a bit odd, but the shitakes not only add super healing benefits to the sauce, they really do boost the flavor and texture substantially.
Healing Benefits of Superfood Shitake Mushrooms
I learned about the amazing health benefits of shitake mushrooms a few years back and since then I have been sneaking the superfood into everything from lettuce wraps to turkey burgers and even meatloaf!
Here are the top five health perks of shitake mushrooms:
- Boost satiety, prevent fat storage and help with weight management
- Supply important vitamins, minerals and enzymes that boost immune system
- Destroy cancer cells
- Contain important phytonutrients that help keep arteries clean and protect against heart disease
- Boost energy and brain function
And best of all, you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen making this one either. You can get the whole thing on the table in just about 30 minutes flat, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner!
For those of you with allergies or food sensitivities, it is helpful to know this recipe for Linguine and Clams meets to following dietary restrictions:
Egg Free / Grain Free Option (use Chickpea Linguine) / Gluten Free (use Gluten Free Linguine) / Paleo-Friendly Option (use Zucchini Noodles) / Nut Free / Dairy Free /
- 2 packages (3.5 ounces each) shitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2 cans (5 ounces each) chopped clams, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups chopped canned tomatoes (see notes below)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 6 cups cooked gluten-free linguine (see notes below) or steamed zucchini noodles
- 1 pound steamed fresh clams, for garnish, optional (see notes below)
- Add the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (be careful not to over-process or the mushrooms will get mushy.) Set minced mushrooms aside.
- Heat ¼ cup of the oil and anchovy paste in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until shallots soften. Add the garlic, minced mushrooms, salt and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until mushrooms are soft. Stir in the clams, tomatoes, crushed red pepper and coconut palm sugar and simmer sauce for 15 minutes. Add the chopped basil and cook for an additional minute.
- Divide pasta among 4 serving bowls and top with the clam sauce. Garnish with basil and fresh steamed clams (optional). Serve warm.
How to steam fresh clams: Thoroughly rinse the clams to remove any traces of sand. In a large stockpot, bring 1 cup of clam juice, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and ¼ cup wine to a boil. Add the clams and cook until they just open, about 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open on their own (never force a clam open,)
My favorite gluten-free/ grain-free linguine brand: I absolutely love Banza brand “Chickpea” linguine (www.eatbanza.com).
Look for “boxed” chopped tomatoes (if possible): Pomi brand BPA-free boxed chopped tomatoes from Italy are particularly delicious in this dish (www.pomi.us.com)
P.S. If you liked this recipe for Linguine and Clam Sauce, be sure to check out my recipe for Steamed Clams in Lemon Wine Sauce!