As promised, last Wednesday’s dinner…since I discovered making my own pasta I have really been excited to continue to try different types. The recipe I had selected caught my eye and my husband’s, so when he suggested it I quickly put it on the menu. As plans became clear, my husband had a friend from work joining us, but as usual that didn’t prevent me from trying something new.
The recipe said that the pasta dough should be made and then allowed to sit at room temperature for an hour; in a note it also mentioned that the pasta could be made in advance. With our schedule, it was no-brainer to make the pasta on Tuesday, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, and allow myself the time to pick up the clams fresh on Wednesday.
The recipe was originally designed as a Valentine’s Day dinner for two; it only called for 1 pound of littleneck clams! My rule is usually about 1 pound per person (8-10); as you can guess, I made a few edits, and there are few more in the recipe below to make it that much better.
I bought Italian Semolina past to make sure it would be accurate, but when I got to the kneading I began to worry that it would not gain that elasticity that is needed. I need not have worried.
When working with clams, you will see recipes that say “scrubbed” – do not skip this! Clams live at the bottom of the ocean and will fill your meal with grit if you don’t wash them. I always put them in a large bowl of ice water and pull them out, scrub the shell with a soft brush, rinse them under running water, and the place them in a colander layered with ice to keep them fresh until they go in the pan.
By now your water should be boiling, you want to start the clams and pasta at about the same time. Add the clams to the sausage with the wine and cover it with a lid. I like to use my deep skillet with the glass lid so I can shake them up and see when they open.
Fresh Pasta with Clams and Hot Italian Sausage
Entrées, Pastas, Shellfish, Tested and Approved!
Makes Servings: 6 ∙ Source Bon Appétit | February 2016
- 2¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more
- 1 cup semolina flour, plus more
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup water, warm
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs. hot Italian sausage, bulk or with casing removed
- 8-10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 5-6 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Combine all-purpose flour and semolina flour in a large bowl. Add oil and warm water and mix with a fork until a stiff dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8–10 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic; let sit at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerated overnight.
Cut dough in 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time and keeping remaining dough wrapped in plastic, roll dough into a 10-12″ log. Cut on a diagonal into ⅓-½” pieces; dust with all-purpose flour.
Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out between your palms to make about 3″ strands that taper at the ends. Dust pasta with semolina flour and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel until ready to use.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon (or mix ‘n chop), until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain excess oil, then add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add clams and wine; cover. Cook, shaking skillet occasionally, until clams open, about 5 minutes; discard any that do not open.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 3-5 minutes (dependent on thickness). Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Add butter, parsley, pasta, and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to clams. Cook, tossing and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes.
Optional: Remove clams from shells prior to stirring in pasta.