Linguine With Clams
3 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
8 garlic cloves, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup clam juice
12 ounces linguini
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided
Fill a large stock pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mince 3 of the garlic cloves and set aside.
Using a Dutch oven add 1 tablespoon butter and place over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the bread crumbs and toast, stirring frequently until lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes. turn off the heat and add the minced garlic, lemon zest and parsley. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
Rinse out the Dutch oven and set aside. Using a parking knife, thinly slice the remaining 6 cloves of garlic. Place the Dutch oven back over a medium flame. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and when hot, but not smoking, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook until the anchovies begin to break apart. Add the wine and simmer. Reduce the mixture by 1/2. Add the clams, stir well, cover and cook unto the clams open about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the clams to a medium mixing bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Set aside.
By this point your water should be boiling, Add the linguini and cook till al dente, about 6 minutes. Do not drain the paste, reserve about 1 cup (or more) of pasta water. Using tongs, transfer the linguini directly to the Dutch oven with the clam liquid. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and clam juice and bring to a boil. Cook while stirring constantly reducing the liquid by 1/2 and until the sauce has thickened somewhat and is coating the linguini nicely, about 5 minutes. (Note: more pasta water can be added if need just do so in small amounts and readjust the seasoning to taste).
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining parsley and 1 tablespoon butter. Add about 1/3 of the toasted bread crumb mixture to the linguini and mix well to combine.
To serve, divide the linguini among serving bowls, top with clams, sprinkle more bread-crumb mixture on top and drizzle lightly with olive oil.