Midday Fix: Linguine vongole with basil cream sauce and fresh clams

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Executive Chef Brian Nelson

Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar
3358 N. Paulina Street

Linguine Vongole with Basil Cream Sauce and Fresh Clams

Pasta dough

1/2 lb. (225 g) unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 lb. (115 g) durum flour
1/4 lb (115 g) semolina flour
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 to 2 Tbs tepid water
extra flour plus semolina for rolling
5 lbs applewood chips soaked overnight in water

Combine flour in mixing bowl and then place flour on one side in deep heavy duty pan. Place wood chips on the other and cover tightly with a layer of aluminum foil. Place on grill with one side off make sure the flour side is over the off side and woodchips are over the open flame. After twenty minutes of smoking remove foil mix flour around carefully and cover with foil smoke for fifteen more minutes. Remove flour from heat and a low to cool uncovered. Place flour in bowl of standard mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the eggs while beating the flour on low speed until moist crumbs form. Add the water one Tablespoon at a time enough for the dough to start to come together. Continue to beat flour until the dough forms one solid mass and comes away from the bowl cleanly. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Run pasta through roller until 1/16" thick. Cut into desired shape.

Basil Sauce and Clams

1/4 pound (about 4 cups) fresh whole basil leaves, roughly chopped
cold water as needed
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs garlic, sliced
1 Tbs shallot, minced
16 littleneck clams
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup clam juice
4 Tbs basil puree
2 Tbs grated Parmesan
2 oz room temperature butter
boiling salted water for pasta
12 oz pasta
8 leaves basil, chiffonade
smoked paprika, for garnish

Load basil into blender or food processor start with 2 Tbs water. Start machine and slowly add more water until basil starts blending. Gently continue raising speed until smooth. Pour olive oil in saute pan. Let coat bottom of pan and place garlic and Shallots into pan with oil. Start to heat over med flame burner until garlic and shallot begin to sweat and release aroma (no color). Add clams and let them warm in the pan. Add white wine and cover to steam open clams. Once clams have to started to open and you have reduced wine by half. Add heavy cream and clam juice and basil puree reduce by 1/3. Once all the clams have opened remove from pan.  Add pasta and continue to cook. Add Parmesan and butter. Toss pasta until fully coated. Add warm water to loosen sauce if needed. Arrange on plate with clams. Garnish with basil chiffonade and smoked paprika.