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
- Make the purée: Grind the purée ingredients until combined, to desired consistency.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.