Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
5 cloves fresh garlic, smashed, divided
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 T.
1 stick butter, plus 2 T.
1/4 C red onion, diced
2 C sliced portabello mushrooms; or 1lb whole/unsliced small button mushrooms
1 red pepper, diced
2 oz. pancetta, finely diced
1/2 C good white wine
2 T cornstarch
44 oz can of chopped clams, drained with 1 pint of juice reserved
1 tsp each salt and pepper, or more to taste
1 tsp dried basil
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 C heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs. imported bow ties (I like De Cecco)
1 cup of Reggiano Parmigiano, grated
2 pounds Thai shrimp, cooked separately
Saute 3 cloves of garlic in 3/4 cup of oil and 1 stick of butter on low heat for 2 minutes; discard garlic. Saute onions, pancetta, mushrooms, and peppers on medium heat in the oil/butter mixture until soft. Add wine & simmer for 2 minutes. In separate bowl or cup dissolve the cornstarch in 4 oz. of the reserved clam juice; add to pan. Then, add the remainder of the reserved clam juice and spices to the pan. Simmer for five minutes. Add clams & cream and simmer gently for 2 minutes, making sure NOT to boil. Toss with pasta, cheese, and shrimp that were sauteed in garlic butter (see below). Then WOW your guests or the judges! TUTTO AGITATO!
For the shrimp: Heat over med-low 2 T. each butter and olive oil in a saute pan with 2 cloves of smashed garlic. Let garlic infuse the oil/butter for a couple of minutes, and then discard. Salt and pepper the shrimp, and then cook on med-high heat, in batches, in the garlic butter. Set aside and add to clam sauce, along with any accumulated juices, just prior to serving.