Dried porcini with tomato, garlic and clams

Dried porcini with tomato, garlic and clams

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

I overdosed on porcini when I first started cooking in restaurants, and remember making lots of flavoured butters and endless vegetarian and vegan dishes with it. It wasn’t long before I got sick of the sight, or at least, the earthy smell of it. Languishing in my bad books for almost a decade now, it is, however, a rightful member of the storecupboard. Used judiciously, porcini can give flavour like no other. Diced courgette added with the garlic and chilli makes for a nice variation.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
30g dried porcini mushrooms
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste
4 ripe red tomatoes, diced, or use 4 tinned, drained and chopped
40 fresh clams, cleaned, (you can use tinned here if you like)
250ml dry white wine
a small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
salt
300g linguine, spaghetti or short and shapely pasta – conchiglie or orecchiette would be fabulous

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms for about 30 minutes in enough warm water to rehydrate. Drain and coarsely chop.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is aromatic but not brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook over a moderate heat for 5–8 minutes, until thick and rich.
  4. Stir in the clams and the white wine, then put a lid on the pan and turn up the heat. Cook until the clams open up. As they open, remove them to a waiting bowl so as not to overcook them. Continue until all the clams have cooked and have released their juices into the tomato sauce. Discard any that refuse to open.
  5. With the clams all cooked and reserved on a plate, reduce the tomato and mushroom mix until slightly thickened, about 6–8 minutes, and stir in the chopped parsley.
  6. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, as per the packet instructions, and drain, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water in case you need it to loosen the sauce. Add the cooked pasta to the tomato and porcini sauce, adding a spoonful or so of the cooking liquid if necessary.
  7. Reunite the cooked clams with the pasta in the pot and serve immediately.
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