30 littleneck clams (the smallest size of quahogs), cleaned and scrubbed; or 1 pint chopped fresh clams from the seafood counter; or 2 cans (6.5 oz.) chopped clams in broth
¼ cup olive oil
4 anchovy fillets or 2 tsp. anchovy paste
2 tbsp. butter
1 small stalk celery, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, zested (about 1 1/2 tsp.) and juiced (about 1/4 cup)
¾ cup dry (white) vermouth or white wine
1 lb. linguine
1 cup mixed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and celery leaves, finely chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Shuck and chop the clams and reserve the juices. (You need about 2 cups of clams and juices.)
In a deep skillet with a lid, heat the oil, about four turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Add the anchovies and stir until they melt into the oil, about 1 minute. Add the butter. When it melts, add the celery, garlic, thyme, pepper, bay leaf, and lemon zest. Swirl the skillet for a minute. Add the vermouth to the sauce. Reduce heat to medium.
Salt the boiling water; add the pasta. Cook for about 7 minutes. (It will be slightly undercooked.) Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta.
Add the lemon juice, pasta, cooking water, and clams with juices to the sauce. Cook, tossing often, until the clams are cooked and the pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes. Mix in the parsley and celery leaves; season with salt.
Rach's Tip: Serve this with any type of green salad, such as escarole and fennel with red onion, lemon, and EVOO.