Freds with Benefits!
Some days it can be easy to forget just how lucky I am…and then one of my amazingly talented chef friends comes into my kitchen to cook up a dish from his acclaimed new cookbook, and I remember that I am truly blessed. When my friend, Chef Mark Strausman of Freds at Barneys, agreed to join me for a Facebook Live video I knew I had to seize the day—so I asked him to cook up another one of my favorite recipes in a separate video to share with all of you! Click down below!
Cook and Eat Like a New Yorker!
Mark’s the perfect example of a New York City chef as he’s an expert in so many cuisines. But if you were to define New York by two food items, what would they be? You’d probably all agree that’s its bagels and pizza.
Our melting pot city may have influences from all over the world, but Jewish and Italian eats are the dominant symbols for the city that never sleeps. And Mark knows them both very well.
All the Comforts of Italy
In this recipe, you’ll see that he’s a master of Italian comfort food. He takes this very classic seaside pasta dish and adds his own flair while staying true to the principles of Italian cuisine and celebrating the flavors of the ingredients. It really is simple Italian cooking at its best. Now that we’re back into the reality of post-labor day life, grab yourself a copy of his cookbook, and let this Spaghetti alle Vongole whisk you away!
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 48 very small clams in the shell, such as cockles or baby clams (not littlenecks)
- 1 cup dry white wine (trebbiano, Gavi, or sauvignon blanc)
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 1/4 cup canned crushed Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 Kosher salt
- 2 Freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a 10-quart pasta pot with 7 quarts of salted water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Heat a long-handled 14-inch braising pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil with the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Add the clams and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine, clam juice, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes and stir. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the clams open and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir, and cover until it returns to a boil. Uncover and boil the pasta until al dente. Drain, saving ¼ cup of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss in the parsley, a pinch of salt (only a small amount since the clams are already naturally salty), and pepper. Toss together until all the pasta is evenly coated. If the sauce is too thick, thin by adding some of the reserved pasta water a little at a time. Cook over low heat 1 minute. Serve immediately.