Chilled Capellini with Clams and Caviar
- SERVINGS: 4 FIRST-COURSE SERVINGS
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.