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Pasta with clams and basil

Clams
From: 'Saveur Cooks Authentic American' (Chronicle Books)


By the editors of Saveur Magazine

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 dozen manila or littleneck clams, well scrubbed (See Note)
  • 1lb. fettuccine
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Method:

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet (one with a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not brown, about 1 minute.

Add wine and clams, tightly cover skillet, and cook until clams open, 5 to 8 minutes. Shake skillet occasionally and uncover, removing clams as they open and setting them aside in a bowl. (Discard any clams that are chipped or that fail to open.)

Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until tender but firm, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander.

Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl, add parsley and basil leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add clams and toss together mixing well. Before serving, arrange some of the clams on top.


Note:

Choosing Clams -- Manila clams, though not native to America's Pacific Coast, are now being raised there and are much in demand. Look for small ones (1 inch wide), best eaten raw or steamed. Pacific littleneck clams, the most common Pacific variety, are comparable to manilas but slightly tougher in texture. On the Atlantic Coast, the smallest quahogs (1 1/4 inch to 2 1/4 inches wide) are also called littlenecks. They are tender and sweet, best eaten raw or steamed.


RELATED STORY:
America's food is as diverse as its culture
June 30, 1999

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