Chilled Capellini with Clams and Caviar


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  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 dozen small littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound capellini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 3/4 ounces osetra caviar

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the clams, cover and steam until they start to open, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer each clam as it opens to a bowl. Pour the cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Remove the clams from their shells and cover.

  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the capellini, stirring constantly, until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cold, then drain again.

  3. Pour the reserved clam cooking liquid into a large bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chives and clams and season with salt and pepper. Add the capellini and toss well to coat with the sauce. Transfer one-fourth of the pasta to each of 4 shallow bowls. Using a long fork, twist the capellini into knots. Spoon the clams around the knots and pour some of the sauce on top. Garnish each knot with caviar and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Richard Jung Published July 2002

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