Toasted Capellini with Clams and Dashi
- 1 teaspoon dashi powder (see Note)
- 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 3/4 cup fresh apple cider
- 2 tablespoons. Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white soy sauce (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon tobanjan (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 ounces capellini, broken in half
- 1 cup coarsely chopped green cabbage
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 serrano chile—halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup coarsely chopped escarole
- 1 tablespoon small oregano leaves
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil. Stir in the dashi powder until dissolved.
In a large pot, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook over moderately high heat for 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a baking sheet as they open, and discard any that don’t. Strain 3/4 cup of the clam cooking liquid into a large saucepan. Add the dashi, apple cider, fish sauce, white soy sauce and tobanjan to make a clam broth.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the capellini and toast over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of the clam broth and layer the cabbage, garlic, ginger, leek and serrano chile on top; do not stir. Bake for about 15 minutes, until all of the broth is absorbed and the pasta is al dente.
Add the steamed clams to the remaining broth in the saucepan. Stir in the escarole and simmer until heated through. Stir in the oregano. Transfer the pasta and vegetables to bowls, top with the steamed clams and escarole and serve.
The dashi can be refrigerated for 3 days.