Linguine with Clams – Or Linguine Alle Vongole, A Pasta FavoritePosted: October 1, 2010
I’ve always wanted to learn how to prepare Linguine Alle Vongole (pasta with clams). It’s one of those dishes that I often order when eating out, precisely because I have yet to figure out how to make it nearly as good as I’ve enjoyed in restaurants like Peasant and Barolo.
And who better to teach me than Chef David Pasternack of ESCA (one of my pre-/post-theater picks, or pretty-much-anytime picks). I don’t typically pull from the Today Show twice in one week, but when I saw this, I couldn’t help myself. The recipe is included below. And here’s a link to the show’s site, so that you can watch the video segment. The added bonus in the video? David Pasternack’s take on garlic bread.
Recipe: Linguine with clams, pancetta and red pepper flakes
Chef David Pasternack
- For the linguine meal:
- 1 pound dried linguine
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips
- 8 mild dried red chiles (such as Italian finger hots), whole
- 2 3/4 pounds clams (mahogany or littlenecks, about 48 total), scrubbed clean
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup clam stock or lobster stock (recipe follows) or pasta cooking water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to finish
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to finish
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- For the clam or lobster stock:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 sprig thyme
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 parsley stems
- 1 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 pounds or chowder clams or 4 lobster bodies
To make the linguine:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook for 1 minutes less than the box directions (al dente). Drain in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid if not using the clam or lobster stock (recipe provided below). Toss the pasta in the colander with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 6-quart pot or Dutch oven with a lid over medium-high flame. Add the garlic and pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to take on color, about 4 minutes. Add the chiles and the clams, cover the pot, and cook until the clams begin to open, about 2 1/2 minutes. Then add the wine and the clam or lobster stock, or reserved pasta water (it should bubble when it hits the pan), and replace the lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, checking to see when all of the clams have opened (discard any that don’t). Add the pasta and season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Add the red pepper flakes. Add the parsley, toss gently to combine, and cook for an additional minute or so to thoroughly reheat the linguine. Divide among four bowls, being sure to distribute the clams equally. Drizzle each bowl with a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of crunchy sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
To make 1 quart of clam or lobster stock:
Over a medium-low flame, heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot. Add the shallots and cook slowly until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley stems and white wine. Raise the flame to high, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 7 minutes. Add the clams and enough water to completely cover them, about 1 quart. Bring to a boil, reduce the flame to medium, and cover. Simmer until all the clams have opened, about 6 minutes. (Discard any clams that don’t open.) Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Let the stock cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Clam or lobster stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen.