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Linguine with Clams, Prawns and Spring Peas
Posted on October 06 2023,
Freshly-shelled English peas add a lovely seasonal touch to this recipe, but frozen peas (which are harvested and then preserved at the height of their season) will work just as well. When we shot this recipe, the very first peas of spring were just hitting the market and weren’t yet plump and delicious like the ones you’ll find throughout spring and (hopefully) all summer long. We used the entire pods, still young and tender, coarsely chopped and stirred in at the end in lieu of whole peas. That’s a long-winded way of saying use what’s fresh, local and available to you.
Ready in 45 minutes Makes 4 servings
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- Sea salt
- 4 cloves to 1 head of garlic (depending on taste)
- 2 lemons
- 1 glass dry white wine (we prefer something from southern Italy such as Grillo)
- 3 pounds littleneck clams
- 1 pound linguine
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup shelled peas
- 10-12 spot prawn tails
- ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- Flaky salt such as Maldon for finishing
STEP 1 Set a large pot with salted water to boil. (This way you’ll be able to cook the pasta on your own time.) While the water boils, heat 2 tablespoons butter along with the olive oil in a large wide skillet with lid or heavy-bottomed dutch oven. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant; taking care not to burn.
STEP 2 Turn the heat down to low and zest both lemons into the pan using a microplane or handheld grater. Halve the lemons and juice them directly into the pan using your hand or a citrus squeezer to capture the seeds. Add the white wine and the clams. Season again with salt. Turn the heat up to medium high, and place the lid on the pan. While the clams cook, position a mixing bowl with a lid (any lid or plate or even foil will do) next to the pan. Drop the pasta in the boiling water, and cook just until al dente.
STEP 3 Check on the clams. Use tongs (tongs are your best friend in this recipe) to remove the opened clams from the pan, and transfer them to the bowl. Keep them covered. The clams won’t all open at once, so you’ll need to go back and forth a few times. Give the last few stragglers some time, and shake the pan a bit. Discard any clams that don’t end up opening.
STEP 4 Turn the heat back down to low. Use the tongs to pull the cooked linguine from the pasta water and transfer to the pan with the beautiful clam and wine juice. Add two ladlefuls of pasta water to the pan. Add ¾ of the chopped parsley along with the peas and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Turn up the heat and stir the pasta into the liquid using the tongs or a wooden spoon. Continue to cook and stir until the liquid reduces and sticks to the pasta like a sauce. You’ll know you’re close when the sound starts to change.
STEP 5 Turn off the heat and stir in the prawns. The heat from the pasta should be enough to cook them through. Use the tongs to cover the prawns in pasta, so they cook from the heat of everything else. Stir in the cooked clams, and crushed red pepper if using. Finish with remaining chopped parsley and flaky salt.
**Remember to discard any clams that are open before cooking and any that stay closed after cooking.
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