pasta and clams

I have fond memories of the island of Maui, posting up ocean front in Paia, waking up to waves crashing, sun shining, the warm ocean and there’s no doubt  we’ll be back. My friends, Joe and Elaine used to live on Maui and one year they gave me a cookbook from one of their favorite restaurants on the island, Longhi’s, and it’s been my staple, go to cookbook that I reach for time and time again. Bob Longhi’s recipes are delicious, they work and a trip to Maui is never complete without a stop at Longhi’s in Lahaina  for lunch or dinner or both. Fresh ingredients, very good olive oil and parm and I’m eating Longhi’s at home tonight. This pasta and clams dish has amazing flavor, so satisfying on a rainy, wet saturday night at home, anytime really.

Pasta and Clams (adapted from Longhi’s “Prawns Venice” recipe)

3 pounds fresh manila clams

1 pound dried spaghetti/linguini

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped garlic (5 cloves)

a pinch of red chili flakes

1 cup white wine (was out of white wine and substituted clam juice instead)

¼ cup lemon juice (3 Tablespoons)

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

3-4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Clean clams by soaking them in water for 20 min, rinse thoroughly to take off all the sand and debris. Meanwhile, heat a big pot of water for your pasta and cook to al dente.

Coat saucepan with olive oil and over medium-high heat saute chopped garlic ’til lightly golden. Add the clams, wine (or clam juice), lemon juice and chili flakes, cover to steam until clams start to open (about 3 minutes). Mix in the parsley and remove the cooked clams with a slotted spoon, set aside. Stir the cold butter chunks into the sauce, one tablespoon at a time ’til butter melts. When pasta is cooked al dente, remove from water and add directly into pan, toss well and plate onto serving bowl, top with the clams. Add freshly grated parmesan to taste. 

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