Spaghetti with Brown Butter and Clams
Recipe by Rebekah Peppler
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 cubes
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup white wine
1 lb Littleneck clams, cleaned
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small bunch chives, thinly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, until al dente. Drain through a colander, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add cubes of butter, swirling the butter around the pan constantly, until browned and fragrant and the butter stops bubbling (if you're confused, this is exactly how to make perfect brown butter. Remove the pan from the heat and add the juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper, swirling to combine. Set the brown butter aside.
In a large sauté pan with a lid that's at least 3 inches tall (the clams will need space to open up, so you need a tall sauce pan that won't crowd them), bring white wine to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add clams and 3 crushed garlic cloves, cover and simmer until most of the clams open, about 5 minutes (discard any unopened clams, and the cloves of garlic). Return the skillet of brown butter to a burner over low heat, and add the cooked spaghetti, clams, clam cooking liquid, and half of the sliced chives. Toss until the spaghetti is warmed through and coated in brown butter.
To serve, sprinkle with the remaining chives.
For this recipe, you'll need a 12-inch skillet, a large sauté pan with a lid, and a large stock pot to cook the pasta.
You can get a great skillet here (pictured left, worth the price, will last forever) or a more affordable decent one here. A sauté pan is different than your average skillet because it has tall, straight sides. You can get one here. Any stock pot that's at least 8 quarts will work, but a 12-quart pot (pictured right) is your best bet. Get a simple one here.