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"Anchovies are the secret ingredient to this sauce," Rach says. "If you think you don't like them, chances are you're wrong. Once you melt them, they just taste like natural salt. You can omit them if you like, but I strongly recommend you try my recipe as is with the anchovy."
This recipe was originally published in her magazine, Rachael Ray In Season, and Rachael loved it so much that she also decided to share it in her new book, which is out Tuesday, November 9th (but you can pre-order now).
Rach's Pro Tip: Fresh clams or cockles keep 5 to 6 days in the fridge. Leave them in the net in a colander over a plate and cover with a wet kitchen towel. Store in the lowest part of the refrigerator.
Excerpted from This Must Be the Place by Rachael Ray. Copyright © 2021 by Rachael Ray. Used with permission by Ballantine Books. All rights reserved.
If using fresh clams or cockles, put them in a bowl of iced salted water and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Put the clams in a large pot over medium heat. Add about 1/2 cup water, cover, and steam until the shells open and release their clam juice (liquor, as it’s called), 3 to 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
In a large pan, heat EVOO (three turns of the pan) over medium-low heat. Add anchovies and gently stir until they melt. Add garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and chile paste or pepper flakes and stir. Add wine, turn up the heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is reduced by half.
Salt the pot of boiling water and add pasta.
Working over a bowl to catch the clam liquor, remove about three quarters of the clam meats from their shells. Transfer the remaining clams in their shells to a plate.
Squeeze both lemon halves into the sauce. Add the butter and half the parsley. Add the reserved clam liquor and shelled clams to the pan sauce.
Cook the pasta just shy of the package directions for al dente, then drain, add to the sauce, and finish cooking. Add the micro celery and garnish with the reserved clams in the shell. Finish with the remaining parsley.