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Trofie Pasta with Clams, Chiles and Black Bean Sauce

February 7, 2012

I don’t know why I risk making recipes I’m unsure of for entertaining and birthdays, but I

pasta with clams and black beans

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.

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