Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce


Makes 8-12 servings (we usually make this for a small crowd, but you can divide it in half)

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/3 cup all purpose flour

3 - 6.5 oz. cans of chopped clams, making sure to reserve the clam juice (or use 4 cans if you don't want to use the fresh clams below)

1 cup bottled clam juice (or chicken broth or white wine)

2 cups half and half

3 T. dry sherry

1-2 lb. fresh clams, scrubbed (Manila or littleneck clams, whatever they have at the supermarket)

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

32 oz. linguine pasta, cooked (usually about 2 packages)

Prepare linguine pasta per package directions. In a large saucepan or pot, melt butter and add mushrooms and garlic. Saute until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add flour and cook for another couple minutes. Add liquid from canned clams and the bottled clam juice or broth and bring to a simmer. Add half and half and dry sherry. Add the fresh clams and simmer until the clam shells open, about 5 minutes or so. Discard any shells that don't open. Stir in parsley and parmesan cheese. Stir in the linguine. It will appear a bit soupy at first, but the sauce will soak into the pasta and thicken up after a few minutes.