I know there's technically a rule about not combining seafood with cheese. But some rules were meant to be broken. Any dish can be made better with cheese, especially creamy goat cheese that gets soft and melted upon a bed of hot pasta. Toss in some super ripe blackberries -- so perfect and ripe this time of the year -- that add a unique tartness usually reserved for lemon? Perfection.
I love this dish -- it's fast, easy, and combines flavors that you would rarely get anywhere else. Plus, it is very customizable. Want more cheese? Add more cheese. Have blueberries but no blackberries? Those should work just as well. Feel like having fruit in a pasta dish is a little too daring? Squeeze some lemon to add an acid and you'll be good. Need a showstopper dish? Add in a few "real" clams (like I did for the photos), and let your guests ooh-and-ahh over the presentation.
Plus, clean up is a breeze, which is no small feat for a dish with so many parts. So again, perfection.
BLACKBERRY & GOAT CHEESE CLAM PASTA
Servings: 4-6 people
Time: 30 minutes
1 pound spaghetti
1 tsp salt
pinch of white pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
4 tsp dried rosemary
4 (10 oz) jars of baby clams (I use Cento brand)
10 cloves of garlic (not a typo)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tsp anchovy paste
4 tsp butter
1 container blackberries, very soft and ripe
1 oz goat cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until it is "al dente." Make sure to reserve some pasta water when done.
While the water is boiling/pasta is cooking, chop up the garlic and sauté over medium heat in butter. Add the anchovy paste and mix together.
After around 45 seconds, turn up the heat to medium high and add the white wine. While this cooks, open the jars of clams and separate the clams from the juice. Add the clam juice to the pan, as well as the rosemary, thyme, salt, and white pepper.
There should be a fair amount of liquid in the pan at this point. Let it bubble and reduce for three to four minutes. After it has started to reduce, lower the heat to medium low.
Add the clams and stir.
The pasta should be around done at this point. Use tongs to add the pasta to the pan. It's okay if some of the pasta water gets into the mixture; in fact, you can add a few spoonfuls of pasta water to help incorporate the clams mixture with the pasta.
Increase the heat up to medium high and stir for another minute or two so that the pasta goes from "al dente" to full cooked. Make sure to toss frequently to emulsify everything.
Plate the clam pasta into individual portions, and sprinkle with loose thyme, goat cheese crumbles, and blackberries.
A recipe for clams casino, via Epicurious
The 20 best pasta dishes from the New York Times
Plus, a user's guide to buying seafood from WaPo
This recipe is:
Filled with clams