Here, Chicago chef Erling Wu-Bower's no-fuss rendition of the Italian classic linguine with clams.
“I’m half Chinese and half Cajun; there’s not a drop of Italian blood in me,” says chef Erling Wu-Bower of Nico Osteria in Chicago. But while studying philosophy in Rome during a college semester abroad, he found that he connected with Italian food culture more than he’d expected.
“I loved the laid-back pace of Italian life, the way you linger over dinner for three hours. It’s similar to the way Cajuns relate to food. My dad and I can talk about making a roux for hours, and at the end of that, we still haven’t even made it.” At Nico Osteria, his linguine with clams is a wildly popular rendition of the Italian classic.
“I geek out about really traditional Italian dishes,” Wu-Bower says. “This one is simple and easy to understand.”
1015 N. Rush St.; nicoosteria.com.
Get Erin Wu-Bower's easy Linguine with Clams and Fennel Recipe.