Trofie Pasta with Clams, Chiles and Black Bean Sauce
I don’t know why I risk making recipes I’m unsure of for entertaining and birthdays, but I
guess it’s just the sort of risky behavior I indulge in (wink). This recipe was one of those times…pasta, black beans, clams- all in a sauce that’s pretty much just a full bottle of wine? Well, maybe it’s not that risky, but I was worried the sauce wouldn’t be much of a sauce. Or how well wine and Chinese black bean sauce really goes together. As it turns out, it goes really well together. I made this for Greg’s mom’s birthday and it was a fitting dish for a celebration, and came together in about 45 minutes, during which time I made the Balthazar salad and some French fudge cakes. Not bad. I have no idea what Trofie pasta looks like, so I bought some long, chewy hand-rolled pasta. Substitute a similar shape. This recipe comes from Food & Wine and serves 4.
12 thin asparagus spears, trimmed
4 T unsalted butter
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
One 750-milliliter bottle dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
2 bay leaves
3 T Chinese black bean–garlic sauce
1 fresh red chile, seeded and minced
1 pound artisanal trofie or fusilli
4 dozen middleneck clams, scrubbed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c chopped parsley
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a work surface, let cool and cut into 1-inch lengths. Reserve the water for the pasta.
In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and shallots and cook over moderately low heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and bay leaves and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves, stir in the black bean–garlic sauce and chile, cover and remove from the heat.
Return the water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente; drain and return to the pot.
Bring the black bean sauce to a boil. Add the cockles, cover and cook over high heat until they open, 2 minutes. Stir in the asparagus. Add the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and serve.