Leonetto Cappiello - Pates Baroni 1921
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Leonetto Cappiello
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La Belle Cuisine - More Pasta Recipes

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"To cook is to create. And to create well...is an act of integrity, and faith."


Penne with Manila Clams and Chorizo Sauce




"Life is a combination of magic and pasta."
~ Federico Fellini

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  Alie Kruse-Kolk - Portugal
Alie Kruse-Kolk
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Friday, November 10, 2006

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Penne with Manila Clams and Chorizo Sauce

Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook
Alfred Portale's
Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook

by Alfred Portale, 1997, Doubleday

Makes 6 appetizer or 4 main-course servings

“One of the most exciting developments in American cuisine has been the incorporation of international influences into our nation’s culinary consciousness – a fitting reflection of our melting-pot heritage. This recipe is a good example of a Portuguese-influenced dish (a departure for me), as well as an illustration of how to turn a culinary experience into the inspiration for a new dish of your own.
In the mid-1980s I spent time vacationing in the Algarve, the coastal fishing region in the south of Portugal. Just about every night, we sat down to eat at a dockside restaurant on the pier that served simple grilled fish and an immensely satisfying native dish called ‘cataplana’, a garlicky pork and clam stew served in a hinged copper cooking vessel. The wait staff would deliver this sealed to the table and open it like a giant clam shell, releasing a burst of steam emanating the rich aromas of seafood and spices.
It occurred to me that this ingenious combination of pork and clams, brimming with spicy, bold flavors, would make a fun and unconventional pasta sauce. To accompany it, I settled on penne; with its ridged surface and short length, it makes an ideal vehicle for the sauce and its size complements the pieces of chorizo and seafood, allowing each mouthful to include morsels of all three.”

Thinking Ahead: The sauce may be made the morning before the day of final preparation, covered, and refrigerated.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
5 dozen Manila or 3 dozen littleneck clams, well scrubbed

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the wine is reduced by approximately one third, about 10 minutes. Add the clams and cover. Cook until the clams open, 3 to 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a small bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat, discarding the shells, and set the meat aside. Let the clam broth stand for 10 minutes, then decant it through a wire strainer into another bowl, leaving any sand behind. Set the clam broth aside.

Chorizo Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces chorizo or other spicy smoked sausage,
sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
One 28-ounce can imported Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
2 ounces smoked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 sprig thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until the sausage is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the onion, carrot, and celery and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the reserved clam broth, the tomatoes with their juice, the ham, thyme, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until
reduced by about one fourth, approximately 40 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

1 pound dried penne
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a warmed serving bowl.
If necessary, reheat the sauce. Just before serving, add the clams. Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the parsley and basil, and toss well. Serve in individual soup bowls.

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