SPAGHETTINI WITH ASIAN CLAM SAUCE (for four)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh gingerroot
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Chinese fermented black beans, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, drained and chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sherry
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
30 small (1 to 2 inch) hard-shelled clams or cockles, scrubbed well
¾ pound spaghettini
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
½ cup finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
chiles as garnish
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add gingerroot, garlic and black beans and cook, over low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add sugar, soy sauce, sherry, chicken broth and clams. Cover and cook over high heat, transferring the clams with tongs as they open to a bowl. Discard any clams that do not open.
3. Add the spaghettini to the boiling water and cook for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Bring the mixture in the clam pot to a boil. Stir the cornstarch mixture and whisk it in. Simmer for 1 minute and stir in the clams, any juice from the clam bowl, the scallions, sesame oil and the pasta. Toss well and serve garnished with fresh chiles.
adapted from a Jenn-Air advertisement