125 mldry white wine1 kglittleneck clams (see note)200 gmdried linguine2pimientos de Padrón (see note)60 ml(¼ cup) olive oil2spring onions, thinly sliced, plus extra to serveFinelygrated rind of 1 lemon and juice of ½A good dashof Tabasco2 tbspfinely chopped flat-leaf parsleyToasted breadcrumbs1 tbspbutter, coarsely chopped40 gmfine sourdough breadcrumbs
For toasted breadcrumbs, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add breadcrumbs, season to taste and stir until golden and crisp (5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring half the wine to the simmer in a large glass-lidded saucepan over high heat. Add clams, shaking pan to coat clams in wine. As clams open, remove them with tongs onto a plate (2-6 minutes). Strain cooking liquid and reserve. When clams are cool enough to handle, use a small knife to remove meat from shells and set aside (discard shells).
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until just al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook chillies in a frying pan over medium-high heat until blistered and slightly softened (8-10 minutes), remove from pan and thickly slice. Add half the olive oil to pan with spring onions, stir until tender (4-5 minutes), add remaining white wine and simmer for 1 minute. Add reserved clam cooking liquid, clams, pasta, chillies and remaining olive oil and stir frequently until well coated (1 minute). Add lemon rind and juice, Tabasco, extra spring onion and parsley, top with toasted breadcrumbs and serve hot.
Note Littleneck clams from New Zealand are available, prepared and packaged, from select fishmongers. If they’re unavailable, substitute vongole, soaked in cold salted water for 30 minutes then drained. Pimientos de Padrón are available from select grocers, or you can substitute another small mild green chilli.
This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
“This is a riff on the old standby,” says Carbone.
“Here we make it about clams and Tabasco. We blister shishito peppers and then add spring onions and white wine. The pasta is finished with clam juice and Tabasco. We recommend eating the dish with an ice-cold Schaefer, an iconic New York beer.” Shishito peppers are difficult to find in Australia so we’ve substituted pimientos de Padrón. If you can’t get your hands on Schaefer beer, substitute a pilsner-style lager.