Chef Barbara Lynch has made her mark on the Boston restaurant scene with her five fantastic restaurants—and she recently published a book, Stir, where she shares her surprisingly easy recipes for the rest of us mortals. Here she mixes pasta with spicy clams for a quick and delicious dinner tonight.
36 litttle neck clams, well scrubbed
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to finish
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed redpepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 pound linguine, preferably homemade (also in Barbara Lynch’s book)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
About 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the clams and wine, cover and cook, stirring about halfway through, until the clams open, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the clams from the pan with a slotted spoon. Discard any clams that do not open. Carefully pour the juices through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl, leaving and sediment behindin the pan. When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop coarsely.
Heat the olive oil in a clean skillet over medium-high heat. Add the clams and garlic and let the clams sizzle undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, lowering the heat if the garlic starts to color. Add the red pepper flakes and a couple of tablespoons of the reserved clam juices and stir. Remove the sauce from the heat. Taste it and add more red pepper flakes and a little salt, if needed, keeping in mind that the clam liquid will be salty as well.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until just tender. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Using a slotted spoon transfer the pasta to the skillet with the clams, add the parsley, and gently toss everything together over medium heat, adding a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, if need be. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and lemon juice over the pasta.
Divide the pasta and clams among four bowls. Divide the sauce that remains in the pan among the bowls and sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese.
From Stir by Barbara Lynch, Houghton Mifflin, 2009
Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine’s food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.