Monday, February 18, 2008

Bittman's Linguine a la Vongole

Yield At least 4 servings

Bittman writes:
"Note the techniques of barely cooking the garlic before adding the clams without liquid, to the hot oil. The liquid for the sauce comes from the clams themselves and, ideally, remains undiluted by water or wine. Astonishingly good."

* Salt and pepper
* 1 pound whole wheat linguine or other long pasta
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 dried red chile
* 1 piece dried mild chile, like ancho, optional
* 1 tablespoon slivered garlic
* 1 sprig of thyme
* 2 pounds of the smallest clams you can find, or more, washed until free of sand
* Parsley, if you have it


* 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Start cooking the pasta when the water boils. Put the olive oil in a broad, deep skillet or casserole and turn the heat to medium; add the chile(s), garlic and sprig of thyme. As soon as they sizzle, turn the heat to medium-high and add the clams.
* 2. Cook, shaking the pan, until the clams begin to open, then lower the heat a bit. Continue to cook until most or all of the clams pop open. Drain the pasta when it’s almost tender, then add it to the clams and stir.
* 3. When the pasta is done and the mixture is saucy (you can add a little of the pasta-cooking water or a little more oil if necessary), add black pepper, salt if necessary (it might not be), parsley if you have it, and serve.

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