Tagliolini con Vongole e Zucchini (Thin Noodles with Clams and Zucchini)
- 3 1/2 pounds Manila clams or New Zealand cockles
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 cloves garlic
- Pinch hot chili flakes
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half moons
- 2 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 recipe basic pasta dough, recipe follows
Soak the clams in a salt solution for 2 hours, changing the water several times and discarding sediments that settle in the water.
Prepare the pasta according to the recipe. Roll it out to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine, then cut into ribbons 1/8-inch thick. Set on a sheet tray dusted with semolina and cover with clean, damp dish towels until ready to cook.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomato juices have evaporated. Add the clams and the wine cover, and cook until the clams have begun to steam open.
Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook 1 minute. Drain and add to the pot with the clams. Toss until the noodles are well dressed and the sauce is the proper consistency, add the parsley and serve.
BASIC PASTA DOUGH
Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and the olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.
As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated. Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly reflour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Roll or shape as desired.
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