Clam Pasta with Chorizo and Arugula

Clams and sausage go together like peas and carrots. We like to use Olympia Provisions chorizo from Portland Oregon, but any hard, spicy sausage will do.


Clam Pasta with Chorizo and Arugula

This is a very simple and versatile dish, more a concept than an actual recipe. You can add creme fraiche or cream or throw more butter in at the end to thicken it up.


Ingredients:

butter or oil for sauteing
2-4 pounds clams (1 lb per person)
a few splashes dry white wine (sauvignon blanc or muscadet work well)
1 onion, diced
red pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz or so Olympic Provisions chorizo, thinly sliced into rounds
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flake, or to taste
1 tsp or so fresh thyme leaves, or to taste
fresh arugula, stems removed
parmesan or asiago cheese, grated



Procedure

Rinse clams carefully in fresh water, agitating them to ensure they're all tightly closed.


Add several splashes of white wine and a pad of butter to a pot. Add the clams, cover, and steam for 5-7 minutes.  If the clams were all alive and fresh when you put them in the pot, don't worry about discarding ones that haven't opened, simply cook them a bit longer. As you remove the clams, separate the meat from the shells, saving a few shells for atmosphere if you like. Reserve the meat and the broth.


Saute diced onion and red pepper in butter or olive oil until soft. Add minced garlic and saute for a bit. Add the chorizo, and cook until the chorizo is warmed through, then add the reserved clam steaming liquid (making sure not to add any grit from the bottom of the pot). Simmer until liquid is reduced, adding black pepper, red pepper and thyme to taste.


Add clams and a handful or two of the arugula, cook just until the arugula is wilted. Spoon over pasta, then sprinkle with cheese.

 

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