I was searching for something new to make for dinner that everyone would like. I came across a recipe that I had saved a while back for Linguine with Clams and Mussels from the Food Network. I no longer have cable, so I don’t really watch FN anymore. There are so many competition shows now, where there used to be just cooking shows, so I don’t really miss it anyway. But I digress. My aunt who lives in Italy had recently told my dad about some super duper flour, and so mom immediately got on the internet and found some and bought it. I figured this would be a good excuse to try it out and see if there really was a difference. I wanted to use the spaghetti setting for something a little different, since I’ve been making loads of linguine in my classes lately. Of course, I altered the rest of the recipe too, since I can’t help myself.
My dough was a little wet following my usual 9 oz of flour to 5.3 oz of liquid, but it felt ok…. I should have added more flour but I was on a roll. After kneading, resting, and rolling, when I went to put the first sheet through the spaghetti cutter, it did not cut all the way through the pasta sheets. So out came my trusty pasta drying rack, and I lay the sheets out to dry a bit. The second attempt was a little better, but I still had to separate all if the strands of spaghetti by hand (with the aid of my husband who thankfully jumped in to help!).
Once the spaghetti was sorted out, it was time to make the sauce. Clams and mussels cook super quickly, as does fresh pasta. I started by sautéing some shallots and green garlic in a little olive oil. Then I added some white wine and homemade chicken stock. After that cooked down a bit I added the clams and mussels, covered, and let them cook till they opened up. After they had been in for about a minute I put the pasta in the water and everything was done at the same time! I finished the sauce with some parsley and butter, and black pepper for me and Creg. If I were making this just for us, I would have added some red pepper flakes to the sauce when I put in the wine, but the rents don’t care for spicy food. We served the pasta with grated cheese for me and Father, and a fresh Acme Baguette for dipping in the sauce. Really delicious!
Everyone thought that the pasta was excellent, and that the fancy flour made it a bit more delicate. Definitely worth the use for a special occasion, although the cost does not make sense for everyday use.
Spaghetti with Clams and Mussels
- 400 grams homemade spaghetti or store bought if store bought, use DeCecco brand
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 2 stems green garlic washed and chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ – 1 cup homemade chicken stock
- 12 littleneck clams
- 12 mussels
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place clams and mussels in a large bowl of cold water. Add 1 – 2 tbsp of salt and 1/4 cup of flour. Allow to soak for one hour, then drain and rinse under cold water.
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, season with a good amount of salt – it should taste like the sea. If using dried pasta, add it to the water now.
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and green garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, clams and mussels. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook until all the shellfish have opened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any unopened shellfish.
- Once the clams and mussels have been cooking for a minute, add the fresh pasta to the water. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until al dente.
- Using tongs, add the cooked pasta to the pot with the clams and mussels. Stir and cook for a minute till the pasta is done. Turn off the heat and add the butter and parsley. Give it all a good stir, and serve with a crusty baguette for dipping in the sauce.
Here are some of the tools I used for this recipe