Welcome to The Hot Dish, a behind the scenes look at the making of the dishes of the moment.
[All photographs by Nick Solares]
When your restaurant is called The Clam and you feature some of the most iconic clam dishes from the American culinary canon — clam chowder, clam dip, a fried clam belly sandwich — you had better have a pasta with clam sauce on your menu. Mike Price, chef and owner of The Clam, dutifully does so and takes it a step further by infusing the dish with the flavors of three different types of clams. He also spikes the gravy with a rather unorthodox ingredient: soy sauce.
Since he already has a white wine based dish in the steamed littlenecks on his menu, Price chose to go with a tomato based sauce for his Spaghetti with Clams ($21). He uses canned tomatoes that are gently pulsed in a blender so they remain somewhat coarse. The inspiration for using the soy sauce came from experimenting with a family meal he prepared for the kitchen staff. Price finds that the soy adds saltiness, color, and a certain smokiness to this dish. The key, says Price, is the use of a scorchingly hot pan that brings the sauce together. "I can tell when the pan is ready to go when it shimmers," the chef explains.
A look at how Price prepares the dish.
- The ingredients (clockwise from top): Littleneck clams, citrus vinaigrette, soy sauce, canned tomato, butter, green onions, sweet cream butter, chopped top neck clams, chili flakes, and arugula salad. Housemade spaghetti at center.
- The spaghetti is made from semolina, AP flour, whole eggs, and egg yolks.
- The pasta is cooked in a clam broth made from surf clams, white wine, thyme, garlic, fennel, onions, carrots, and celery.
- The pasta goes into the clam stock.
- To steam them open, price places the littleneck clams in a saucepan with white wine, butter, and parsley.
- While the clams steam open and the pasta cooks, Price makes the sauce. He starts off by toasting the garlic in a hot pan with canola oil and then adds the tomato, butter, and chili flakes.
- Price then adds the chopped top neck clams and soy sauce.
- The chef brings the sauce together over the heat.
- The steamed clams and spaghetti are added to the sauce.
- The pasta is topped with an arugula salad dressed with a citrus vinaigrette, and a garnish of shredded green onions.
· All Coverage of The Clam [~ENY~]