Got Green Garlic? Have you tried it? Do you know what it is? Green Garlic, I’ve recently learned, is simply baby garlic that is harvested before the bulbs develop underground. It looks a lot like green onions and can be used in all the great ways that you use regular garlic! After attending a food show recently and meeting the good folks California garlics growers Christopher Ranch , I was sent some of thier green garlic to try and thought I’d make one of my, and my kid’s, favorite dishes – linguini with clams.
By the way, I found great garlic tips on their website if you want to check it out. Anyway, I was wondering about how the flavors would be altered by using green garlic, and all I can say is that I was totally impressed! My daughter Jasmine looked at me and said “I really think this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” I think it had something to do with my recipe that is very similar to how my mom and my wonderful Sicilian aunts used used make this. For this dish, I have three words: simple, simple, simple! And I totally recommend using fresh bread crumbs. Oh, and green garlic. Seriously, if you want to impress someone with your mad cooking skills, make this dish! Or if you just want a tasty and delightful meal, make this dish!
Garlic Girl's Linguini and Clams
- 1 pound linguine, bucatini or your favorite spaghetti
- 3 pounds Little Neck Clams, cleaned thoroughly
- optional - ½ pound prawns, cleaned, deveined
- ½ cup curly parsley, rinsed and chopped
- 6-9 stalks green garlic, chopped (you can always use regular, but this added a really nice flavor)
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup or more fresh bread crumbs
- 1 cup, reserved liquid from boiled pasta
- ¼ cup or more, freshly grated pecorino romano cheese (trust me, the cheese makes a difference!)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- a little crushed, red pepper
- 2 teaspoons, dried parsley (optional)
- For Fresh Bread Crumbs
- 1 french baguette
- a little olive oil
- Chop all veggies so that you have everything ready - this recipe really goes fast once you start.
- For the Fresh Bread Crumbs, preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Slice french bread in one inch slices and place slices on cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Flip to the other side and bake for another 6 minutes - just until dry, but not browned. Break up and put pieces in food processor until a coarse crumble.
- Increase oven heat to 375 F, pread bread crumbs on cookie sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. With your hands, mix thoroughly and place in oven for about 10 minutes, turning a bit so the bread crumbs brown evenly to a golden color.
- Set aside (you can definitely store leftover bread crumbs - they are so much better than store bought!)
- For the Linguini and Clams, fill large pot with water and begin heating to a boil, in preparation to cook the pasta.
- In seperate, large frying pan, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add red onions, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper - and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the parley, saute another minute, then the garlic and cook another few minutes more. If you're adding prawns, add them to the pan and saute on both sides until they are no longer translucent - and then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the white wine to that same pan; things will steam up a bit (it's a good thing).
- Turn the heat up a little and then add the clams. Once the liquid comes to a a boil cover with a lid and turn the heat down so that there's a nice simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Note: You know the clams are done when they are all open. make sure to discard any that did not open.
- When the pasta is al dente, remove a cup of the water (and set aside) and then strain the pasta and add to the pan with the clams and the veggies. Toss around in the pan so that the flavors all get incorporated with the pasta and add a little salt if needed.
- Continue to cook so that some of the juices start to reduce; this really helps add flavor. If you added prawns to your dish, you can return them to the pan at this point. If the pan starts to get a little dry, add some of the liquid you reserved from the pasta water and add about a ¼ cup and toss in pan until everything blends together nicely.
- Add some fresh ground pepper and transer to a nice serving dish. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese and top with bread crumbs and a little dried parsley.
- Serving suggestion: DIG in! Serve with crusty bread, a little wine, and a side salad or greens!!