Linguini and Clams

Along with asthma and FOMO, I have a disease I like to call AITS. Anxiety Induced Turrets Syndrome.

Meaning, when I get nervous I have a serious case of word vomit.

I HATE awkward situations. I can’t even watch awkward things on television. I have to change the channel or leave the room if there is an awkward situation occurring.

But, when I am forced to be in an awkward or uncomfortable situation, I tend to make heinously inappropriate jokes.

I was so awkward at Lish’s rehearsal for her wedding in a big fancy church that I actually made a fluffer joke in front of the priest.

If you don’t know what a fluffer is, please don’t google it. You will just judge me.

The only person I know who tells more inappropriate jokes than I do is Wesley.

And while our Monday night family dinner was no exception, there was an upside.

We had a wonderful time.

There were a couple of uncomfortable joke moments, but for the most part we all laughed and drank and chowed down.

Even though my parents would never flat out say that they loved someone right off the bat, they did use words like confident and fun to describe him the next morning.

Confident in Samuelsese really means “can hold his own in this family of overbearing people” and fun is basically saying “he can drink as much as we do so we don’t need to feel bad about our over indulgence.”

I’d say Wesley passed the test. Which really means, “he hit it out of the park.”

However, if I had sucked I was totally prepared with this awesome dish. This dish was so awesome that even Wesley and my mom who “don’t eat clams” devoured it.

You will need…

Extra-virgin olive oil
9 cloves garlic, minced

4 lbs littleneck clams, scrubbed under cold running water
1 cup white wine

1/2 cup water
1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound linguine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional

Kosher salt

Start by coating a large sauté pan with olive oil and add the garlic cloves as soon as the oil is hot.

Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook the garlic until it is aromatic.

Put the clams in the pan with the wine and 1/2 cup of water.

Cover the pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat.

Cover and cook until the clams open, about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over medium heat.

When all the clams have opened, remove them from the pan.

Add the red pepper flakes to the liquid and reduce the cooking liquid on high heat for about 7 minutes.

While the liquid is reducing, drop the linguine into the salted boiling water and cook until the pasta is very "al dente" maybe a minute or so less than the box directs.

When the liquid has reduced slightly, add the butter and cooked clams to the liquid.

Bring the liquid to a boil and toss in the cooked pasta and the herbs.

Cook the pasta together with the sauce until the sauce clings to the pasta.

Turn off the heat and toss in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if using, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Toss or stir vigorously to combine.

Serve in a large platter family style.

With some deliciously crusty bread.

Especially in potential AITS situations.

Love and Beer Floats