The Foodinista is not the only cook in the kitchen, and in fact one of the most requested dishes by friends and family is my husband’s riff on Clams in Spicy Pernod Sauce. In yesteryears, he made his own pasta—but that endeavor has been placed on the back burner as it were since Tiny G arrived on the scene last summer. Still, the dish is fantastic with fresh fettuccine or linguine picked up from Cube on La Brea, or from the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. If at all possible, take a trip to Santa Monica Seafood for the freshest clams.
The recipe calls for Pernod, but we use whatever pastis happens to be in the fridge, which at the moment in Ricard. (Pastis is a French anise-flavored liqueur; both Pernod and Ricard fall into the pastis category.) After you toss some fennel seed in with the clams and brown for a minute or two, you simply add chopped roma tomatoes, minced garlic, and scallions, cooking for a few minutes. Then add white wine, water, pastis, red pepper flakes, and steam for 7-10 minutes, until clams open. I love watching him make this:
We usually drink Bandol rosé with this dish, but when we served this to my parents and sister who were visiting last week, my dad and I were in the mood for Chablis, while my mom and sister were eyeing the Pinot Noir. So we opened both: 2007 Louis Latour La Chanfleur Chablis (an outstanding wine at $17), and 2006 Etude Temblor Carneros Pinot Noir ($60 – a worthy splurge).