Stephane and I go a long way back, all the way to the hectic kitchen at Daniel. Over the years, he discovered a whole new world of spices. This dish is a great example of how far he’s come: a French chef using a Thai-influenced spice blend in an Italian dish. I love how the floral lemongrass notes in the Noga spice blend work surprisingly well with briny clams, and the palm sugar helps thicken the broth for an entirely new spin on pasta with clam sauce.
Noga N.17 – Recipe from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz
Makes 6 servings
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 pound dried tagliatelle or fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon Noga N.17 spice blend
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 garlic gloves, halved crosswise
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces hard Spanish chorizo, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1. In a bowl, cover the clams with cold water and let them soak for 10 minutes, changing the water two or three times.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water, then transfer to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and 2 teaspoons of the Noga spice blend.
3. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the clams and the orange and lemon juices. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the clams have all opened, about 5 minutes. Remove the clams from the pot and separate the clams from their shells; discard the shells.
4. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat and reduce by half, about 5 minutes, then add the heavy cream and reduce by half again, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the butter and the remaining 1 teaspoon of Noga and return the clams to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Add the pasta to the sauce and allow it to warm through. Stir in the chorizo and lime juice, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve.