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Linguine with Clams, Arugula, and Tomatoes

July 13, 2010

Growing up, I knew there was only one reliable Italian restaurant in the DC area. Yes, there were many trendy Italian restaurants and tons of family restaurants, but Landini Brothers in Old Town was the closest to my Grandmother Serafina’s cooking that I tasted (click for a Washington Post review here). Once a month, my family drove down King Street and showed up for our special menu. The Landini Brothers, taking a quick look at my sister and I, would squeeze our cheeks and seat us at our corner table. We would get an onslaught of questions, terms of endearment, and all sorts of reassurances that we were accepted into their family.

Another way we found the way into the Landini family is ordering off-menu. Despite the fact that my favorite menu item has not been around since the late 80’s, I still order a special Linguine with  Clams and Arugula. Unfortunately, replicating it in my kitchen didn’t seem to work. In particular, steaming the clams, picking the meat out, and then cooking them with pasta always made the entire dish an ordeal. In result, I considered those cans of clam sauce. I was super scared of clams in a can, but I finally decided that it was probably safe. Additionally, there are types that are all natural and preservative free, especially by the olive oil company Colavita. After careful inspection I gave it a try, and it was actually a decent weeknight meal.

Linguine with Clams, Arugula, and Tomatoes


  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 lb linguine (whole wheat or spinach)
  • 1 can of Colativa Clam Sauce
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 1 tb red pepper flake
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper

1. In a saucepan, saute garlic and olive oil, then add the grape tomatoes for 3 minutes

2. Meanwhile, boil water, and add in linguine
3. In the saute mixture, pour the clam sauce over the tomatoes, add in arugula, red pepper flake, and lemon juice.
4. Let the arugula wilt, and mix the ingredients together.

5. Drain and add the linguine into the clam mixture.
6. Add salt and pepper, and serve.*

Notice the steam over this picture! We used spinach linguine, but honestly I think the whole wheat Barilla or the regular DeCecco would have been better. Sometimes, you use what you have, and that is wonderful.

* some people would add cheese on top, but because it is fish, Italians usually don’t top with cheese.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 13, 2010 5:06 am

    This looks AWESOME and thank you for finding a good can of clams. I haven't used clams in years because it was always such a disappointment.

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