I love the flavors of garlic and turmeric with shellfish, adding fresh basil, clam juice and a splash of gin, brings this clam unique linguine recipe to a new level.
- 8 clove garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 habanero, seeded & minced, plus more for garnish if desired
- 2 cup packed whole basil leaves plus ½ cup chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup gin
- 1 cup bottled clam juice
- 48 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 lime, zest only
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 pound dried linguine
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as seasoning as needed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Loosely wrap the garlic cloves in foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until very soft. Peel the garlic. Set aside.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, stir to separate and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Reserving the empty pot to use later.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic, turmeric and minced habanero and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the whole basil leaves, black pepper, gin and clam juice, cover and cook over low heat until the liquid has reduced to ½ cup, about 10 minutes. Strain the reduction into the large large pot you boiled the linguine in, pressing on the solids.
Bring the strained liquid to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook, shaking the pot a few times, until they start to open, 3 minutes; as the clams open, transfer them to a bowl and keep covered. When all of the clams have opened, boil the broth over high heat until reduced to about 2 cups of clam broth, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime zest and lime juice.
Add the cooked linguine to the pot with the reduced clam broth and toss to coat. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated into the sauce. Transfer the pasta to the pot, stirring to combine. Turn the pasta out onto a serving bowl. Top with the clams, chopped basil and additional minced habernero if desired. Serve warm with lime wedges on the side.