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We haven't yet planted a vegetable garden that thrived. We've had worms in our pea pods and tomatoes that never turned red. And that was in Washington. Now that we're in Oregon's high desert, Karen, at our local nursery, tells us that we have one-sixth of the growing season that we're used to. But we're trying anyway with two, 4-foot square raised beds and big plans for garlic and greens.
Herbs are another story. They thrive wherever we plant them - in the 50 foot space we allotted for them in Poulsbo, in the antique metal sink in Olympia, in little pots on our balcony in Seattle, and now in a 4 foot by 2 foot rectangle off of our patio. Thank you herbs for being so hearty!
I hate to pay $2.99 for a bundle of herbs that I'll use a fraction of and compost the rest. Instead, as I mentioned before, I head out with kitchen scissors and snip what I need. And in the case of this clam linguine, I snipped a variety, among them lovely and delicious chive flowers.
This clam linguine comes together in about 20 minutes. It's fresh and summery with bits of bacon and butter to bind the flavors and add a restrained richness.
Clam Linguine with Herbs and Bacon
- 6 ounces whole wheat linguine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 thick bacon strip diced or cut into lardons (thin, crosswise strips)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- a pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 pound clams (I used savory clams) scrubbed and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine one you wouldn't mind drinking
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons each lemon juice and zest
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 tablespoon minced flat parsley
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- chive flowers optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook linguine according to package directions. Time it to finish cooking in sync with the clams being done. (If this doesn't work out, drain the linguine and reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid)
- Meanwhile, in a deep skillet with a lid, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost shimmering. Add bacon, cook and stir until browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook and stir about 1 minute. Add the clams and wine and cover. Cook until the clams open, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Lift out wet, cooked linguine with a pasta scoop from boiling water directly into clam mixture. (Or, if the linguine is cooked and drained, add linguine and reserved pasta water. See note above.) Add butter, lemon juice and zest, chives, and parsley; gently toss to combine. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide pasta mixture and clams between two bowls. Garnish with chive flowers (if desired), and serve.