Author Notes: This is a deconstructed Italian dish that fell asleep in Genoa and woke up hung over on a dock in Shanghai
“Every witness turns to steam
They all become Italian dreams…” Tom Waits
You will only need two pans for this; one to make the dish and the other to cook the pasta in. The pan for cooking this dish should be about 12” with a lid to cover. —pierino
12 to 14 really good fresh manila clams or cockles
1 link spicy Chinese sausage* or substitute a semicured Spanish sausage or garlickly French sliced into medallions
tablespoon peanut oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 stalk of celery thinly sliced
1 green onion sliced
¼ cup white wine (it may need more wine at the finish, you decide)
teaspoon five spice pepper**
One handful of very thin Chinese noodles
Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Get started by prepping your mise en place; chop, slice blah, blah
- Scrub your clams to remove any grit and put them away COLD until needed
- Bring your pasta water almost to a boil and keep ready as this dish cooks fairly quickly
- In the 12” pan heat the peanut oil. Use just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and heat at medium until you see the surface begin to ripple. Now add the sliced sausage and lightly brown it
- When the sausage has begun to show some color add your prepped mise, reserving the green onion and cilantro to be added at the end. Follow with the wine to deglaze. It should evaporate almost completely
- Continue to cook over medium and now add the five spice mixture.
- Put the noodles in your now bubbling cauldron. When cooked, drain the noodles and combine in the pan with the other ingredients.
- Add the scrubbed clams (it may need a splash more wine if you have any left over) and cover. Turn the heat up to medium high. The dish is finished when all those little clams open up and sing Turandot to you. Discard any that refuse to open
- To plate: it will need salt and pepper to taste. Always taste…now you can add the chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.
- *Available in Asian markets such as 99 Ranch
- **Five spice powder is available from Penzeys', but you can make your own version in a spice grinder combining 2 or 3 points of star anise, 3 whole cloves and equal parts fennel seed, cassia bark, szechuan pepper corns.