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Linguine With Clams, Fennel, Leeks And Saffron

serves 4-5

This dish has so much flavor and so little fat. The original recipe was written for 10 servings, so feel free to double these amounts for easy entertaining.

Read more about this recipe in the Washington Post.


10 ounces dried linguine pasta, preferably whole wheat
1 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 pounds manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced leeks (white and light-green parts)
1 cup diced fennel
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (seeded and drained)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish


prep: 15 minutes
total: 30 minutes


scrub brush
large pot
large saucepan
fine-mesh strainer
medium bowl
large sauté pan


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat; add the pasta and cook according to package directions. The pasta will be done before the clam mixture is; drain into a colander and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, pour the wine into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the thyme and the clams. Cover and cook/steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until the clams have fully opened. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Reserve the clams and discard their shells and the thyme sprigs.

3. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, fennel, garlic and saffron. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the reserved clam cooking liquid, clams and tomatoes; cook for a few minutes until heated through.

4. Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the clams; increase the heat to medium-high or high and toss to combine. Remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls and garnish with the parsley.

This recipe was adapted from Culinary Institute of America's Techniques of Healthy Cooking.

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