Making gorgeous fresh pastas at home has never been more appealing than with Chef Thomas McNaughton’s beautiful new cookbook FLOUR + WATER: PASTA. With such minimal ingredients (the eponymous flour, water, and occasional eggs), technique is king, and McNaughton delves into all the right details to transcend his recipes beyond the simple “how-to.” McNaughton’s passion for his craft and his hard-earned wisdom and expertise shine in his super clear step-by-step instructions, demystifying a process that may have once seemed messy and fussy. After you’ve turned that big pile of flour on your counter into supple, silky pasta, turn to the appealing seasonal recipes that are fresh and modern, yet rustic and steeped in tradition. Don’t have time to make your own pasta? McNaughton’s got you covered with store-bought options for every recipe.—Jenn Sit
Corzetti with Sausage, Clams, and Fennel
by Thomas McNaughton
It’s always exciting to see how the textures of various clams play so well with pasta. At the height of the season we have a gamut to choose from: manila clams, littleneck clams, cherrystone clams, and even razor clams. They’re nearly always used in pasta dishes, because basically everything about clams—the fork-size bites, the briny flavor, the meaty nuggets of texture—pairs well with pasta.
When dealing with clams in pasta, I steer away from my East Coast roots and the classic Italian-American combination of linguini, whole clams, and a smothering cream sauce. I’m never high on including clam shells in pastas; I feel like it detracts from the rhythm of eating, and having a shell bowl on the table is just one more thing that the waitstaff has to worry about in our tiny dining room. So instead of Italian-American menus, we look to Spanish ones, where sausages and clams are a classic combination. Corzetti stampati—easy to make, but increasingly available dried in stores—are the logical pasta to use, though I suppose linguine is not a bad option either.
1 TB pure olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 CUPS white wine
2 LB Manila clams, scrubbed
1 1/2 CUPS flour
2 TB squid ink
1/2 CUP white wine
To make the clams, in a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat, add the olive oil and shallot. Cook until translucent, about 6 min. Add the white wine and clams to the pan, cover, and cook until the clams all open, about 8 min. Remove the clams and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half. Let the liquid cool completely. Remove the clams from their shells, cover with the cooled liquid and refrigerate until ready to use.
1 TB pure olive oil
8 oz fresh pork sausage, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 medium red onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 CUP white wine
1 CUP chicken stock
2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TB chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 TB finely minced chives
In a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat, add the olive oil and the sausage. Brown all sides of the sausage, about 3 min. Add the red onions and cook until translucent, about 90 seconds. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic starts to brown, about 3 to 4 min. Add the white wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, the clams, and their liquid. Bring to a simmer.
Drop the pasta in the boiling water. Once the pasta is cooked 80 percent through, until almost al dente, about 2 to 3 min, add it to the pan. Reserve the pasta water. Continue simmering the pasta over high heat until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 3 min. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
To serve, divide the pasta and sauce between four plates. Finish with the parsley and the chives. —Serves 4
Reprinted with permission from Flour and Water: Pasta © 2013 by Thomas McNaughton, Ten Speed Press. Photography by Paola Lucchesi.
See more ideas for throwing a laid-back affair with pasta buffet in the 11 Comfort Pasta