Linguini with Clam Sauce is one of those wistful dishes I remember watching my parents order and enjoy while out to fancy restaurant. Seeing a beautifully photographed recipe in a seafood cookbook the other day reminded me of that big plate of linguini with clam sauce. Suddenly, I was craving a nice big plate.
Boosting the Healthy Nutrients in the Linguine with Clam Sauce recipe
Anytime I work on a new recipe or updating a classic recipe to a healthy version, I am always thinking of ways to improve the nutrition. Therefore, as I was writing my ingredients list, I knew I wanted to give this classic Linguine with Clam Sauce recipe a healthful boost.
Suddenly, chopped shiitake mushrooms came to mind.
I am not really sure how this idea came to me and for a minute, I wasn’t even totally convinced the idea was a good one. However, I know the amazing health benefits of shiitake mushrooms so I thought it was worth giving the idea a shot.
Adding Mushrooms to the Clam Sauce Recipe Worked!
The shiitake mushrooms made the Linguine with Clam Sauce even better. The mushrooms added more substance to what you normally get from a clam sauce along with a very pleasing umami-like quality.
More About Shiitake Mushrooms
I know it sounds a little “odd” to add shiitake mushrooms to a clam sauce. But, I’m telling you they taste amazing and they really do contribute substantial health benefits.
Mushrooms are like fine wines and different types have completely different qualities. The meaty-texture and delicate taste of shiitake mushrooms marries perfectly with this seafood-based red sauce. Just be sure to cut the shiitake mushrooms into small pieces. A manual food processor, like this one from Pampered Chef works great at controlling the size of the shiitake mushroom pieces.
To learn more about the intrinsic healing properties of Shiitake mushrooms click HERE.
Have a Plate of Linguine with Clam Sauce in 20 Minutes!
In fact, my Linguine with Clam Sauce recipe is incredibly easy and super fast to make. You can have the whole dinner on the table in 20 minutes. To speed things along I use canned baby clams. However, if you have the time and inclination to complicate things you can certainly do so by using fresh clams, such as littlenecks or mahogany clams.
Using Fresh Clams Adds About 10 More Minutes
If you are using fresh clams you’ll just add an extra 10 minutes or so to the total cooking time. However, if you are going to host guests for dinner, I suggest using the fresh ones. See the notes at the bottom of the page for how to substitute fresh clams.
Try Boxed Pomi Tomatoes, a BPA-Free Alternative to Canned Tomatoes
Pomi boxed tomatoes are made by Boschi, a certified producer of organic foods in Italy. A company that prides itself on the use of seeds in their farms that are not genetically altered. I discovered Pomi products one day by accident at Publix. I have since fallen in love with their straight-off-the-vine taste and superior freshness.
Why I love Using Pomi Tomatoes:
- Pomi tomatoes are grown in Italy without pesticides, herbicides and without the use of genetically modified seeds.
- The only ingredient is TOMATOES! Unlike many other canned tomatoes, Pomi is packaged without preservatives, added water, citric acid or any additives.
- There is no added salt.
- Pomi is 100% all natural and comes in a box (Tetra Pak) which makes it BPA-free
Pomi is nationally distributed. You can find their tomato products at Whole Foods Market, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Publix, Price Chopper, A&P and natural/ organic grocers or Italian specialty markets. In addition to local stores, you can now find them on Amazon.
Linguine with Clam Sauce
Linguine with Clam Sauce is a healthy 20 minute meal that everyone will love. The addition of shiitake mushrooms boosts nutrition and flavor!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Brown rice pasta, such as Annie Chun’s or choose a gluten free linguini
- 4 tablespoons
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 4 large shallots, finely chopped
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- 2 packages (3.5 ounces each) shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2 – 5 ounce cans of baby clams, drained
- 1 box chopped tomatoes by Pomi
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 teaspoons
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots; sauté 3-4 minutes, or until shallots are almost soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the clams and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, red pepper, coconut palm sugar and more salt to taste. Simmer sauce for 10-12 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the basil.
- Serve clam sauce over cooked noodles.
Substitute Fresh Clams in this Linguine with Clam Sauce
Use the smallest hardshell clams you can find (do not use steamers) and, before cooking discard clams with broken shells or shells that are not tightly closed. Be sure to wash the clams thoroughly—no trace of sand should remain on their shells. Any clams that do not open during the cooking process can be pried open with a dull knife at the table.
- 40 small clams (such as littleneck or mahogany clams, or cockles, scrubbed and washed well
- White wine or organic vegetable broth
- Juice from 1 whole lemon
- Handful of fresh parsley
- To cook the clams, place them in a deep sauté pan and fill the pan with half white wine or vegetable broth and half water so that the clams are almost completely covered. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Heat the pan over medium-high heat and cook the clams until they just open (you don’t want to over cook or even fully cook them here since they will be put back in the pan at the end.)
- Remove the clams from the pan and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the clams from their shells and add to step 2 in the recipe above.