Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Aug 12, 2014

Linguine and Clams with Almond and Herbs

Libations used: 1/4 cup white wine...
Libations left over: Pretty much the whole bottle, so serve with can't go wrong with clams and white wine...
Summers call for quick-cooking dinners, because who wants to heat up the kitchen during this time of year?  I was absolutely craving pasta, but still wanted something on the relatively light side.  This Linguine and Clams recipe from Bon Appétit doesn't use any butter or cheese, and instead packs all the flavor with a crunchy almond and herb topping – it's almost like a rough pesto, with plenty of chives and parsley and a little olive oil mixed in.  The clams are cooked in a white wine broth (I opted for a Sauvignon Blanc) with some garlic and red pepper flakes, and the sauce comes together with a little reserved pasta water.  I'm definitely going to use the almond and herb mixture to stir into another pasta or top on some whitefish.  

Linguine and Clams with Almonds and Herbs - serves 4
  • 1/2 cup unsalted and roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped chives
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Oyster Bay's Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 pounds clams, scrubbed (Littleneck or Manila)
  • 12 oz linguine
- In a small bowl, mix the almonds, chives, and parsley with 1 Tbs of the olive oil, and season with some salt and pepper.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the 1/4 cup olive oil.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and bring to a boil, cooking for about 2 minutes, or until reduced to about half.
- Add the clams and bring up the heat to medium-high and cover.
- Cook the clams for about 5-8 minutes, or until they've opened up (be sure to discard any that haven't).
- Meanwhile, cook up that pasta al dente and be sure to reserve about a cup of the pasta water before you drain.
- Once the clams and pasta are all cooked, add the pasta to the pot of clams, along with at least 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- Cook and toss that whole mixture for a couple of minutes until the pasta is nicely coated. Feel free to add a little more pasta water if the mixture is on the dry side.
- Season with more salt and pepper, and serve the pasta topped with the almond and herb mixture.