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Linguine with clams and bottarga

Linguine with clams is a very simple and quick recipe, we do not recommend preparing it in advance.

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: easy

Method: 70'

Cooking: 15'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 70'

Cooking: 15'

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: easy

Method: 70'

Cooking: 15'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 70'

Cooking: 15'

Method

  1. 01 / Prepare the clams

    Wash clams under running water

    Put in a basin with cold water and coarse salt

    Purge for one hour in the refrigerator, covered

    Rinse very thoroughly under running water before using

    Tap clams one by one against worktop

    If a clam is dead and full of sand, it will open immediately—discard it

  2. 02 / Cook the clams

    Pour extra virgin olive oil into a large pan (it will also be used for the pasta at the end)

    Add garlic and heat gently

    Add clams, well-rinsed

    Turn the heat up, it should be high

    Pour in white wine

    Cover with a lid

    Cook until clams open

    Turn off heat and let cool

    Shell clams, keeping some unshelled for decoration

    Strain clam cooking water with a fine mesh strainer

    Put clam cooking water back in the pan and add chopped chili pepper

  3. 03 / Cook the pasta

    Cook linguine in plenty of salted, boiling water

    Stir immediately and then again periodically during cooking

    Drain pasta 5 minutes before the cooking time indicated on the package, transferring it directly to the pan of clam cooking water

    Finish cooking pasta in the pan over low heat, adding pasta cooking water a little at a time if needed

    Check for doneness and, right before turning off the heat, add shelled clams and parsley

  4. 04 / To serve

    Transfer linguine to serving dishes

    Add a few clams with the shell still on

    Garnish with bottarga cut into thin slices

Wine pairing

Linguine with clams and bottarga pairs well with a still white wine of relatively high alcohol content, such as Fiano d’Avellino. A Ligurian Vermentino with good flavour and structure is also an excellent choice.

Linguine with clams is a very simple and quick recipe, we do not recommend preparing it in advance.

You can get a head start by cooking the clams in advance, even the day before; shell them and store them in their cooking liquid in the refrigerator.

The biggest problem with this recipe is finding sand on your plate at the end of the meal, ruining the result. Be patient and do not skip the purging step, nor—even more importantly—the step in which you tap each of them individually to make sure as much sand as possible is eliminated.

Be careful not to end up with salt from the purging water on your plate! Use coarse salt and rinse the clams very well before putting them in the pan.

The clams should be cooked for the least amount of time possible, just long enough to open; cook them on high heat and remove them from the heat immediately after they open, so as not to end up with dry and stubborn clams.

Do not throw away the clam cooking water; its strong flavour is what makes this dish so good!

Do not forget to drain the pasta 5 minutes before the cooking time indicated on the package, so as to let it finish cooking in the delicious clam cooking water.

Do not throw away the pasta cooking water; add it little by little for optimal emulsification and a creamy texture.

Be careful not to add too much cooking water during the emulsification process. Add only one tablespoon at a time and let the liquid absorb before adding more to avoid watering down the pasta.

Do not serve overcooked pasta; eat it while it’s hot, immediately after serving it.

It is better to calculate the right amount of pasta to cook so as not to have leftovers, but if you really do have too much, put it in the refrigerator; the next day, sauté it in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

You can use different types of clams, from large carpet-shell clams to small, tasty wedge clams—it is only important for them to be very fresh.

Most restaurants leave the clams in their shell; we suggest you shell almost all of them, leaving only a few with the shell for garnish. This has two advantages: it keeps your and your guests’ hands clean while you eat and it allows you to eat the linguine while it is still hot.

You can use linguine or replace it with spaghetti or another type of long pasta; in any case, be sure that you still use high-quality artisan pasta.

Bottarga is an ingredient of superior quality, obtained from mullet or tuna roe that are first salted and then cured. If you can’t find it, don’t worry—your pasta with clams may lack the chef’s finishing touch but it will still be excellent!

Ingredients for 4 people

400 g linguine

1 kg carpet-shell clams

2 L water

100 g coarse salt

1 clove garlic

100 ml white wine

1 hot chili pepper

20 g parsley

40 g mullet bottarga

50 g extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wine pairing

Linguine with clams and bottarga pairs well with a still white wine of relatively high alcohol content, such as Fiano d’Avellino. A Ligurian Vermentino with good flavour and structure is also an excellent choice.

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