The salinity in the Manzanilla is a perfect echo to the brininess in the clams, while the racy acidity in the wine helps to cut through the richness of the pancetta and cream, better preparing your palate for your next bite.
Clams with Linguine and Manzanilla
- Scrub the clams clean and let them soak in cold water so they expel any sand.
- Place a dutch oven or large sauce pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add in the pancetta and fry until it starts to turn golden brown.
- Add in the garlic and onions. If there isn't enough fat from the pancetta to coat the onions, add in 1 tsp of olive oil.
- Add in red pepper flakes, the juice of half a lemon, and the Manzanilla sherry.
- Drain the clams and place them on the bottom of the dutch oven in an individual layer. You don't want to overcrowd the pan by layering the clams on top of one another so cook in batches if needed.
- Place the lid on top of the pan and let it cook for 6-7 minutes. The steam created from the liquid will open up the clams.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the linguine and cook according to the package directions. When it is done, reserve 1 cup cooking liquid and drain the rest. Set aside.
- Check the clams after the 6-7 minute time frame and remove any that have opened. Set aside. Continue to cook those that have not opened for another 2-3 minutes. If they do not open after that then discard them. Remove remaining opened clams from the dutch oven and set aside.
- Add the cream to the sauce in the dutch oven and allow to simmer for 9-10 minutes stirring often so it does not burn. You want this to reduce to a thick glossy sauce.
- While the sauce is reducing, chop the parsley.
- Add the pasta, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper to the dutch oven and stir to combine. Add the clams back in. Top with additional parsley and parmesan if desired. Serve immediately and pair with a glass of Manzanilla Sherry.