A restaurant quality dish you can make in an hour.
The fresh ingredients and complex flavors of this dish diminish the need to sit in a restaurant. Enjoy this savory fettuccine in clam sauce with notes of red pepper, brine, and lemon at home instead!
Winter is finally here in New England, and I’m thinking about couch time, TV binging, and pasta. While Winter Storm Jonas covered our sea shanty in snow, I spent the entire weekend perfecting my pasta recipe and catching up on the x-files.
THE CARBS ARE OUT THERE.
It’s not necessary to make fresh pasta for this dish, but it makes a huge difference in your pasta quality of life. And the thing is: you really only need flour and eggs to make pasta. I do use a little semolina flour in my recipe, but you can get away with only using regular all-purpose flour. Semolina flour simply makes the pasta a little heartier, and helps the sauce stick better to the noodles.
After all of my test kitchens, I can say that it really only takes about an hour (20 minutes active) to make some great, rich and eggy noodles. What’s even better is that you can use the non-active time to make the pasta sauce, and have the whole dish done in about an hour.
This is a great meal to make as a special dinner at home. Or even better, savor the dish slowly while snugging up and watching your current TV binge during the winter weather.
Serving size: 2-3
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup semolina flour
- 1 whole egg + 3 yolks, whisked
- 2 lbs littleneck clams
- 1 cup not crappy white wine
- 2 slices of bacon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
1. If you’re going to make the pasta, good for you! It’s totally worth it and maybe you’ll find your zen while doing it. Mix the 1 cup flour and ¼ semolina flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the eggs. Take a fork and continually mix the eggs as the powder starts to become incorporated. Take your time with this. If you’re tv binging, take a seat and enjoy your program as you whisk. Once the flour is incorporated enough, you’ll have to drop the fork and get in there with your hands. Continue to incorporate as much flour as you can while kneading the dough into a ball. Admittedly, I almost never use up all the flour. Stop when you get the sense that the dough is going to dry out and get crumbly if you add more flour. At this point, remove the dough from the bowl and knead it until there are few air pockets in the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set it aside.
Here's the leftover flour I had this time:
2. If your clams look a little dirty, clean them in running cold water. Place the clams in a large skillet and pour the wine over them. You don’t have to use expensive wine, but just be sure not to use super crappy wine. If your wine tastes like a headache, imagine adding that flavor to your food. Not worth it. I used Toad Hollow Chardonnay, which wasn’t too sweet and paired really well with the brine of the clams in the sauce. Bring the wine to a simmer. Cover the pan until the clams open (about 8 minutes or so). Turn the burner off when the clams have opened.
3. After the clams have cooled enough, remove them from the pan and take out the meat. Set this aside for later. If you’d like to use a few in the shell as garnish, set a couple of those aside too. Pour the liquid into a measuring glass and set that aside too.
4. Wipe out the pan. Cook the bacon on medium-high heat. When the bacon is done, remove it, chop it up, and set it aside with the parsley.
5. Turn the heat off if you haven’t already. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. The pan should still be hot enough to hear these spices sizzle as you stir. After about a minute, add the flour and whisk continuously to make a slurry. Then add back the clam liquid. You may see that there is some sand at the bottom, so try to pour all but a couple tablespoons in. Turn back on the heat. Stir in the cream, cheese, and lemon juice. Turn the burner as low as it can and cover the pan.
6. Return to the pasta. If you have a pasta roller, roll the dough down to a size 6. If not, roll the pasta out to about 1/16 inch. Lay out your pasta for about 5 minutes before cutting into the fettuccini noodles.
7. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil
8. If you’re using a pasta maker, roll the dough into foot long fettuccini noodles. If you don’t have such a contraption, you can layer the dough into foot-long sheets, layering with some flour in between. Then roll this up into a cylinder and cut into noodles.
9. Cook the pasta for about 3-5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce. Turn in the sauce with tongs. Add in the chopped bacon, parsley, and reserved clams.