When I opened my pasta maker on Christmas morning I knew exactly what destiny it was going to fulfill. Thanks to a 3 day weekend, MLK provided the perfect opportunity. Let me warn you, homemade pasta dough is not for the faint of heart. Wallets thrown against the wall and a few piles of dough dramatically thrown in the trash, we finally got it right. The best reward is cranking that flattened pile of flour and eggs through the cutter producing long, perfect strings of linguini. Voila!
If you are feeling up to it become of a purveyor of pasta! If not, the boxed stuff will work perfectly fine in this DIY clam and linguini duo. If you are just plain hungry, head to Aria Wine Bar. Happy Cooking!
Homemade Pasta Dough:
- 3 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 eggs
- extra virgin olive oil
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeeze
- 1/4 water (optional)
- 3 tbsp clam juice
- A healthy size pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 2-3 dozen littleneck, or manilla clams
- 1 lb linguini, fresh or boxed
What To Do:
Homemade Pasta Dough:
In a large bowl whisk together the flour and the salt. Make a deep well in the center of the flour. Add the 6 eggs to the center of the well. With one finger, poke each yolk and begin stirring. Start with one finger first because it is important that the flour incorporates slowly from the wall of the well. As the eggs begin to look beaten, you can use more than one finger. Slowly continue to stir, letting the flour incorporate slowly from the sides. This will be messy. If it looks wrong and ugly, don't worry you are doing it right. Eventually, the dough will come together in a shaggy messy lump. Knead this lump until the dough becomes a smoother, elastic lump. Kneading can take some substantial time. If your dough starts to get too sticky dust with additional flour.
Post kneading, let the dough rest, covered in saran wrap for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece and roll out to 1/4" thick. Set your pasta maker on the widest notch. Run your piece of dough through. Fold in half and repeat. Repeat 3-4 times on each setting, until your dough is flattened out. Let your flattened pieces rest for about 10 minutes. Its finally time to cut! Run your pasta through the cutter. Hang your linguini on a drying rack or hanger until ready to use.
In a large sauté, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until fragrant but not burnt. Add wine, lemon juice, clam juice, and red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute or 2, then add the clams. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook for ten minutes, or until the clams open up. If your sauce does not have enough liquid, add 1/4 cup water.
Meanwhile, boil your pasta water. If using fresh pasta, be careful to not over-boil the pasta as times might be slightly less. Drain your noodles and toss with butter, parsley, and parmesan.
Divide noodles between 4 bowls. Generously add the clam sauce to each bowl of noodles, evenly distributing the clams. Be sure to discard any clams that did not open. Enjoy with a large glass of white wine!