This easy pasta dish depends on the carbonara method—egg yolks plus cream tossed into hot pasta—to create an enriched sauce flavored with fresh chives. If you are not using clams, be sure to reserve some of the pasta water to keep the sauce silky. —Lynne Curry
For the pasta
large egg yolks
vermouth or dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
linguine, fresh or dried
finely chopped fresh chives and chive blossoms
Whisk the yolks, cream, vermouth and pepper in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water if not using clams.
If using clams, melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the garlic clove and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the clams, cover the pot and steam until they all open, about 8 minutes.
When the linguine is al dente, drain it well and return it to the pot over low heat.Add the reserved egg mixture and stir until the sauce coats the pasta. Add the chives and stir to blend. (If you are not adding clams, add some of the reserved pasta water to keep the sauce creamy.)
If using clams, strain them from their liquid, add them to the pasta and stir to coat them in the sauce with enough of the cooking liquid to keep the sauce creamy.