Imma tell you about this outrageously delicious dinner in a hot minute.
But first, let me show you some fun weekend stuff. San Francisco!
What is it good for? I’m so glad you asked; let me show you.
For ice cream with a punk attitude. This is Jesus juice (red wine and cola) and secret breakfast (bourbon and cornflakes), Humphry Slocombe originals which I will surely be making. That cookbook is my new Life Guide, and if it wanted me to wear black Nikes or drink Kool-Aid, I totally would.
For music. Well, Oakland technically, which is awesome in its own right, but that’s a post for later.
Music! Animal Collective! Crowd surfing! So much crowd surfing. People. You are precious and I love you, but you’re heavier than you think.
Oh, and for friends. I like this girl.
I also liked the dinner I made before leaving (a lot, as you can see).
I’ve had it pinned since even before I began reading Greg’s (educational, gorgeously photographed, fun, proudly nerdy and sincere) blog and listening to the podcast he’s part of. By the time I got around to making the linguine and clams, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. This man knows his stuff.
This dish surprised me, and I love being surprised by a recipe. If you asked me what I was expecting, I would have grinned and said I was looking forward to melt-your-face-off heat. Spicy heat from habanero, fragrant warmth from turmeric: that’s where my head was at.
But, this is so much more complex, and so good.
There are many flavors at work here, and some of them are green. Herbal, cool, tart, zesty. Basil, lime and even gin balance it all out. The result is irresistible: both warm and cool, sea-briny, spicy, and fresh from all that lime. Oh, and finished off with some butter. Are you kidding? Heavenly.
Habanero and Turmeric Linguine & Clams
(recipe barely adapted from Sippity Sup)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as seasoning if needed
1/2 lb dried linguine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 habanero, seeded and minced, plus more for garnish if desired
2 c packed whole basil leaves plus 1/2 cup chopped basil
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1/4 cup gin
1 c bottled clam juice
12-18 clams, scrubbed
1 lime, zest only
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, wrap the garlic in foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Peel the cloves and set aside.
Add tablespoon of salt to a large pot of boiling water, then add pasta and boil until al dente, according to package directions (roughly 8 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Over medium heat in a medium saucepan, heat up the olive oil until shimmering, then add garlic, turmeric and habanero. Cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant, then add whole basil leaves, pepper, gin and clam juice. Cover, reduce heat and cook until reduced to about 3/4 of a cup (10 minutes or so). Strain the liquid into the pot you used for pasta.
Bring this liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then add clams, cover and cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until the clams start to open (3 minutes or so). As they open, transfer to a large bowl and keep covered. Discard any that don’t open, then boil the broth that’s left in the pot until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in the lime zest and juice, add linguine, and toss to coat. Add the butter and toss everything together until well incorporated and the butter is melted.
Divide between two bowls, top with the clams, chopped basil, any additional minced habanero and lime weges. Serves 2.