Risotto-Style Ditalini with Mussels, Clams and Saffron
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
For this creamy dish, chefs Tyler Rodde and Curtis Di Fede use a fish stock to cook pasta slowly, risotto-style. If you can’t find ditalini, look for other small pasta shapes or pearl couscous.
- 3 cups Fish Stock
- 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
- 1/2 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups ditalini (8 ounces)
- 1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
- In a large pot, bring the Fish Stock to a simmer. Add the clams, cover and cook over moderately high heat until nearly all have opened, about 8 minutes. Add the mussels and cook until opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams and mussels to a bowl; remove them from their shells. Strain the stock into a heatproof measuring cup. Wipe out the pot and return 3 cups of the fish stock to the saucepan, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Stir in the saffron and let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the ditalini with 1/2 cup of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. The ditalini is done when it is al dente and suspended in a thick, rich sauce, about 25 minutes. Stir in the garlic, mussels and clams and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer the pasta to bowls. Sprinkle with the parsley, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
"The minerally De Forville Piemonte Chardonnay is a wonderful match for shellfish and complements floral saffron," says Oenotri’s wine director, Sur Lucero.