Twirl | Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce
Are you a twirler or a slurper? Use a fork or a spoon? Or both?
When it comes to pasta, I get a kick out of watching people (especially kids) transfer strands of pasta to their mouth. I myself prefer the fork-twirl-with-spoon method, and have been trying to teach this technique to my children, but it is a skill they struggle to perfect. Perhaps it’s for the best, because apparently, using fork with spoon is actually considered poor form. Ask around and you’ll surely incite a debate, even amongst Italians. But I recently learned that while it is proper etiquette to provide diners with a spoon to help toss pasta and sauce on the plate or bowl, purists and pasta experts use the fork alone to twirl and eat their pasta. Who knew?
I thought of this the other night when I made Linguine with Clams. But I threw those rules out the window. After all, this was Linguine with Clams in a Sake Red Chili Sauce. This Asian spin on the Italian favorite is actually more understated than it sounds, but I figured it would permit the Filipino etiquette of eating with fork and spoon to this bowl of pasta.
Discussion on how to eat it aside, I have to say, I really need to remember to make this dish more than once a year. It’s so simple and effortless, it is the perfect weeknight meal. I promised my family I would throw this into the repertoire more often…which I suppose means the kids can practice perfecting that fork twirl.
Linguine with Clams in Sake Red Chili Sauce
- 1 lb linguine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup sake (or your favorite white wine)
- 1 cup clam stock
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili paste (add more if you really like kick)
- 3-4 lbs (depending on how much you love clams!) Littleneck or Manila clams
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with Kosher salt and cook linguine until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and saute for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add sake and clam stock and allow the liquid to reduce for about three minutes. Add clams to the pan, cover and let cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the clams open up. Discard any unopened clams. Stir in the butter and parsley. Add linguine to the pan and toss.