Paola Budel, the chef at Mazzorbo, Italy's Ristorante Ostello, updates linguine with clams by using pasta made with kamut (an ancient variety of wheat) and adding bitter chicory and a bright parsley sauce.
Slideshow:Fantastic Italian Seafood Recipes
1/4 pound chicory or stemmed dandelion greens
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1 fresh red chile, thinly sliced
10 ounces kamut spaghetti or linguine
How to Make It
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the chicory until tender, about 1 minute. Drain and lightly squeeze out the excess water. Finely chop the chicory.
In a large skillet, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the pan a few times, until they start to open; transfer the clams to a bowl as they open. When all of the clams have opened, pour the clam broth from the skillet into a heatproof measuring cup, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom; you should have at least 1/2 cup. Remove the clams from their shells.
In a blender, puree the parsley with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Season with salt.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the scallions and chile and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped chicory and stir well. Cover and turn off the heat.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with the parsley puree and the clams. Slowly pour in the reserved clam broth. Cook the pasta over moderate heat, tossing a few times, until the broth has been absorbed. Serve at once.
A Soave from Veneto is perfect with seafood.
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