Sunday, June 17, 2018

Spaghetti with Clams, in a Herb-Purée

This fathers day, my husband asked for a quiet lazy morning at home. He lay in bed and watched Germany play Mexico at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while the children and I set the table with handmade place cards, flowers, and made him one of his favorite pastas! Spaghetti with Clams, in a herb purée. The hot pepper was served as a garnish for just us. 

Involving the children in this one was easy. They got to pick the herbs, and then after I washed it, they put it in the blender, pulsed the blender, and more. This whole process also got my four-year-old twin daughters to try clams with no fuss. 

The kids got a kick out of seeing the clams open up as it steamed. One of my four-year olds even asked me if it was opening up to bite them! 

This recipe is inspired by one I read in NY Times, and we all highly recommend it! 

4 to 6 servings. |  Time: About 30 minutes

For herb purée
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
6 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pasta
1 pound spaghetti or linguine 
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 pounds small clams, such as little neck or Manila, rinsed of sand
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock

Basil leaves, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for garnish 
Hot red pepper flakes, for garnish

  1. Make the purée: Grind the purée ingredients until combined, to desired consistency.
  2. Boil the pasta: For a minute less than the package directions for al dente. The pasta will continue to cook when you toss it with the clams, so stop it ahead of al dente. 
  3. While the pasta boils: Heat the olive oil in a heavy wide-bottomed pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic, fennel seed, and let sizzle without browning, about 1 minute. Add clams. Raise heat to high, add wine and stock, put on the lid. Cook, covered, until all clams have opened, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat. (Discard any clams that fail to open.)
  4. Add cooked pasta and herb purée to pot and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with basil leaves and lemon wedges, serve pepper flakes on the side.