Chef Alex’s ZENB Rotini with Clams, Garlic and Fresh Parsley

SERVES 4

PREP TIME 15 minutes

COOK TIME 25 minutes


FEATURED IN RECIPE


ZENB Rotini Pasta

Recipe created by Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
This is a dish I have made with canned clams in their liquid as well as fresh. You can use a large can of chopped clams if fresh ones are difficult to find. You can also use Manila clams or “Cockles” in place of the Littlenecks. If using fresh clams, make sure you scrub each one under cold running water until there is no sand. The ZENB Rotini is a great shape for this dish because they are wonderfully chewy and catch some of the herbs and sauce in their crevices. Don’t salt the dish too heavily because the clams and their liquid are naturally salty already!

INGREDIENTS

  • 36 Littleneck clams, (about 3 pounds, thoroughly cleaned)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced Kosher salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 box (12 ounces) ZENB Rotini Pasta
  • 12 sprigs (about 3/4 cup) flat-leaf parsley leaves, stemmed

INSTRUCTIONS

1.

The Clams: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the clams in a single layer with the white wine vinegar and bay leaf and cook until the clams open, 5-8 minutes. Be patient. Use a pair of metal tongs to remove the clams as they open. Reserve the cooked clams in a large bowl. Shell all but about 16 of the clams. Strain the clam cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve and reserve. Discard the bay leaf.

2.

The Sauce: In a large skillet, combine the butter and garlic with a pinch salt over medium heat until the garlic becomes translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and simmer over medium low heat until they break down a little, 3-5 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

3.

The Pasta: In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt. The pasta water should taste like sea water. Add the ZENB Rotini to the pot and stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom as it cooks. Cook the pasta until “al dente”, chewy but not hard or raw tasting, 6-8 minutes. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water in case and drain the rest in a colander.

4.

The Dish: Add the ZENB Rotini Pasta, parsley and all of the clams and reserved clam liquid to the sauce. If the dish needs a little more liquid, stir in some of the reserved pasta water. Taste for seasoning.

5.

The Plate: Spoon the pasta with some of the clams and sauce into individual serving bowls. Top each with a few of the clams that are still in the shells for presentation.

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