Pasta with Mussels and Clams (Linguine con Cozze e Vongole) is an absolute staple in southern Italy. And if you're ever in Italy during June or December you must order it because that's when the mussels are the biggest and tastiest!
This recipe is from our book The Olive Oil Enthusiast, pg. 133
How to Make Pasta with Mussels and Clams (Linguine con Cozze e Vongole)
The most important step in making Pasta with Mussels and Clams (Linguine con Cozze e Vongole) is soaking and cleaning the seafood properly. Clams and mussels are the filters are the oceans so they need to be purged, especially clams. Skipping this step can result in getting sick or ending up with sandy shellfish which is never fun!
Purge the clams by soaking them in salt water. Since most folks don't live by the water this will be done by filling a bowl with salt and adding water which is totally fine. During this process you'll notice the seafood burp as air bubbles rise to the surface, they might even dance a little. These are all good signs.
Make sure to pull the dark beard off the mussels. You can take it off by gently wiggling it back and forth until it loosens and releases. Then clean the shellfish thoroughly before cooking.
When cooking it's important to remove the mussels and clams one by on as they open so they do not overcook. This is done by standing at the stove as they cook and removing them one by one from the pan. This will help ensure that when you add them back to the pasta later they will not be chewy.
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