Reason #1: I made whole wheat pasta! From scratch! With my new pasta maker!
Reason #2: This clam sauce is ridiculously easy and ridiculously good, and I'm pumped to share it with you guys.
Reason #3: I FINALLY get to show off my new dining room table that I purchased before the move.
I am absolutely, positively in love with this table. However, the windows in my dining room face south, which makes it difficult for photographing. But I was determined to make it work, and I'm so glad I did.
But back to the pasta. Since I'm trying to stick to whole grains these days, I decided a whole wheat pasta was in order to break in my shiny new pasta attachments for my Kitchenaid stand mixer. (Thank you Dad & Jennea!)
But a word to the wise... DO NOT follow the recipes included with the rollers. Naturally, they call for the dough to be mixed in the Kitchenaid mixer. Naturally, I totally messed this up. I'm sure there is a way to make dough in the mixer, but everything I've ever read uses a variation of the process described below.
Let's just say my first attempt was an epic fail that resulted in something that resembled more of a hard rock than soft dough. Thankfully the second time was the charm in this case.
Start with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of whole wheat flour and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt. You can either mound this on a cutting board or in a large bowl. Create a big crater in the middle.
Crack two eggs inside, along with 3 tablespoons of water. Begin whisking, gradually incorporating some of the flour. Eventually, you'll need to ditch the fork for your hands. If your dough is still sticky, you'll need to add some more flour. Continue kneading for a few more minutes until you have one large, smooth ball.
Now if you're thinking to yourself "that looks like regular ol' white flour," you'd be correct. Because of my debacle early on in this process, I had to use every last drop of my whole wheat flour to make the dough so I had to supplement with a little regular flour to get the right consistency. Separate into four smaller dough balls.
Attach your pasta roller attachment onto the mixer. Start with setting #1. Flatten out the ball and feed it through the roller. (Props to my amazing boyfriend for the awesome custom cutting board and the photography work in this pasta-making sequence. :))
Continue doing this a couple more times on the 1 setting. If your dough gets sticky at all during this process, dust it with some more flour.
Continue rolling the dough, working up through 2, 3 and finally 4 until you have a thin pasta sheet. (I ran it through a couple of times at each). If your sheets are especially long, you may want to cut them in half. Otherwise, get ready to cut some pasta!
Swap out your roller attachment for one of the pasta cutting attachments. Linguine would've been ideal for this recipe, but my choices were spaghetti or fettuccine based on my attachments, so I went spaghetti. Feed your pasta sheets through the pasta cutter. (I was seriously so excited while doing this).
See? Noodles! So cool. Fresh pasta will only take about 5 minutes to cook to al dente in boiling salted water (add some oil too). Otherwise, you can dry it and/or freeze for future use. (Bonus points if you have one of those fancy pasta drying racks. Sadly, I do not). But if you're eating it right away like we were, you don't really need to dry it.
Now for the sauce. You'll need fresh clams, clam juice, chopped clams, white wine, shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley. That's it! So easy.
Saute the shallots and garlic until translucent. Add red pepper flakes and pour in the bottle of clam juice, drained clam juice from the can of clams and the wine. Simmer until reduced by half. (During this time, you can get your water boiling for the pasta). Add in the fresh clams and cover. After only a few minutes (5ish), they should start to open up and look like this. That means they're done. Any that don't open are bad, so toss them.
Add in the chopped clams, and parsley and cook just until everything is warmed through. (Look at all of those beautiful clams!)
Divide your al dente whole wheat spaghetti into bowls and spoon the sauce over the top. Top with whole clams and garnish with more parsley. Serve immediately!
Don't forget to provide your guests with a bowl to collect the clam shells. And definitely don't forget the white wine! This is a fabulously light summer meal, but we happened to enjoy it just as much on a warm fall evening in Connecticut. (P.S. How awesome is that table?!? ;))
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Clam Sauce
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: saute entree clam pasta Italian
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour + more for kneading
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds small fresh clams (Littleneck or Manila)
- 1 6.5-ounce can chopped clams, drained and juice reserved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
InstructionsFor the pasta:
- Start with about 2 cups of whole wheat flour and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt. Mound on a cutting board or in a large bowl. Create a well in the middle.
- Crack two eggs inside the well, along with 3 tablespoons of water. Begin whisking, gradually incorporating some of the flour. Eventually, you'll need to ditch the fork for your hands to knead. If your dough is still sticky, you'll need to add some more flour. Continue kneading for a few more minutes until you have one large, smooth ball. Separate into four smaller dough balls.
- Attach pasta roller attachment onto the mixer. Start with setting #1. Flatten out the ball and feed it through the roller. Continue doing this a couple more times on the 1 setting. If your dough gets sticky at all during this process, dust it with some more flour.
- Continue rolling the dough, working up through 2, 3 and finally setting #4 until you have a thin pasta sheet (a couple of times at each setting). If your sheets are especially long, you may want to cut them in half.
- Swap out your roller attachment for one of the pasta cutting attachments (in this case, spaghetti). Feed your pasta sheets through the pasta cutter and lay on a pan or floured work surface until you are ready to boil them.
- When sauce (below) is almost done cooking, bring a large, salted pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a tablespoon of oil and the fresh pasta. Cook about 5 minutes until al dente. Drain and add to sauce.
For the clam sauce:
- Rinse the clams in cold water. Scrub them if they are sandy. Drain chopped clams, reserving clam juice.
- Saute the garlic and shallot in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Add pepper flakes, then clam juice (reserved & bottle) and wine. Simmer and reduce by half. (You can add a tablespoon of butter here if you want).
- Add fresh clams to the sauce and cover to steam open (discard any that do not open). Add chopped clams to heat through. Stir in parsley and spoon over freshly cooked, drained pasta.
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