Linguine and clams, they go together like peanut butter shares white bread with jelly. My challenge this week was to introduce a dish that presented what I think is the best our East End fall harvest has to offer.
Of course striped bass has to share top billing, the migration is in full swing. Steamed top neck clams play an important supporting role, primarily because of the wonderful broth that results, as the clams steam in a pool of shallot infused chardonnay. For color I turn to Quail Hill farm for a mixture of peppers, one red bell, and one yellow habanero. The later provides essential heat, use caution when handling, and take care dicing both fine. Finally a clove of garlic or 2 and a dusting of fresh parsley, harvested from the nearest herb box.
Since the editors of Edible East End have requested dishes that are as locally sourced as possible, we turned to the Crescent Duck Farm in Cutchouge on Long Island’s North Fork, about 15 miles west (as the crow flies) for our pasta eggs. The linguine is made in house with a mixture of semolina flour, durum flour, duck eggs and water.
Prior to service the first task requires a lidded pot large enough to accommodate all of the clams (rinsed ahead of time). Begin on a medium flame with 1/2 of the oil and all of the shallots. When the shallots have softened, add the clams and then the wine. Cover and steam until all of the clams have opened. Then remove the clams from their shells, strain the broth and store together in the refrigerator until service.
When cooking the pasta it’s important to begin with water that’s at a rolling boil, salted well. Fresh pasta cooks quickly, so prior to placing the pasta in the water bring a sauce pan to temperature over a high flame, add the oil and garlic, as the garlic begins to spit add the clam juice and then the bits and pieces of bass, finally add the chopped clams and peppers, now reduce the flame to low.
In the pasta pot, water boiling like a crazy, drop the pasta in and stir. After 1 and a half minutes the pasta should be removed with tongs and transferred to the clam/ bass mixture straight away. Stir and plate.
Dust with parsley and serve.
Ingredients to serve 4 adults:
1 lb fresh linguine
18-24 top neck clams
1/2 lb striped bass (diced into small pieces)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 small habanero chili, steamed and seeded, diced fine
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cup chardonnay
4 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil