This clam linguine is rich and buttery, and the baked clams add an extra oomph of savory flavor. Serve it with a white or rosé wine, some focaccia bread and a tossed garden salad for a sumptuous and satisfying meal.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large bowl or bucket, place the clams with enough water to cover them. Stir in one cup of cornmeal and 2 tablespoons of salt and let them soak while you prepare the stuffing. Soaking in cornmeal will help to purge the clams and loosen the shells.
Prepare the stuffing. Mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest, garlic, pesto, parsley, olive oil and butter until they’re moist enough to form a mold, but not oozing liquid.
Remove the clams from their cornmeal bath and pry them open with your fingers, or with a thin, dull knife edge between the shells. Stuff the open shells with enough dressing to completely cover the meat.
Position the stuffed clams on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 – 14 minutes, or until the stuffing turns golden brown. While the clams are baking, in a large pot, heat water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
As the pasta cooks, melt butter in a heavy skillet with the olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic, then add the crushed red pepper flakes.
Add the lemon juice, oregano, basil, and spices. Stir for one minute then add the clams with juice.
Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
Drain pasta and place in large serving bowl.
Cover pasta with the clam sauce, mix well together and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese. Arrange some of the bake clams over the top and serve the remaining in a side dish.
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.