We based this recipe on one in Izakaya (Kodansha, 2008) by Mark Robinson. Read more about nori, the dried seaweed used to garnish this pasta that's a staple of the Japanese pantry, in our October 2010 issue.
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 lb. pasta, preferably linguine or spaghetti
- 3 tbsp. canola oil
- 1⁄2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 lb. littleneck clams, washed and soaked for 2 hours
- 2 tbsp. sake
- Soy sauce, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup loosely packed julienned nori
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl, and toss with 1 tbsp. canola oil; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, chile flakes, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Add clams and sake, swirl pan, and cover; cook, swirling pan often, until clams open and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved pasta and a few tablespoons of the pasta water; season with soy sauce and toss pasta to combine, adding a few more tablespoons of the reserved pasta water if you like.
Transfer pasta to 4 serving bowls and garnish with nori and scallions