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ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI WITH GARLICKY CLAMS AND GRILLED BLUEFISH

From: The Ethical Gourmet by Jay Weinstein
Long strands of zucchini mingle with rustic, square spaghetti alia chitarra in this summery play on pasta with clam sauce taught to me by Jasper White.
I use a Japanese mandoline, an inexpensive (about $25) cutting device that makes julienne easy. But I've used a knife in a pinch, and hand-cut julienne are fine for this dish. Bluefish are a plentiful species local to the East Coast, but this dish would be equally delicious with kingfish or even salmon.
Serves 8

 

Ingredients
• 2 pounds small clams, such as littlenecks or Manila clams
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 3 or 4 large zucchini
• 1 pound spaghetti (preferably spaghetti alla chitarra)
• 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing the fish
• 1 large Spanish onion, roughly chopped
• Pinch of crushed red pepper
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 pounds bluefish fillets, cut into 8 pieces
 

Directions

Submerge the clams in cold water for 30 minutes to allow them to eject any sand they contain. Drain the clams and transfer them to a large pot; add the white wine and steam them, covered, until all are open, about 5 minutes. Save about 2 dozen clams in the shells for garnish. Remove the other clams from their shells and roughly chop them. Strain the broth, transfer it to a saucepan, and simmer until it reduces to 2 cups.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into very long julienne (use a mandoline for this, if you have one). The zucchini should resemble strands of spaghetti. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain, and toss with a few drops of olive oil.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot. Add the onion, red pepper, bay leaves, and dried oregano. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook until it turns white, about 1 minute. Add the reduced clam broth and julienne of zucchini. Raise the heat to high; cook just until the mixture simmers. Add the pasta and cook until heated through; stir in the chopped clams, fresh oregano, and butter. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Heat a grill or broiler. Season the bluefish fillets with salt and pepper. Brush the fish with some olive oil and cook, skin side up, over a hot grill or broiler for about 3 minutes. Turn once; cook 2 minutes more. Adjust the consistency of the zucchini-pasta mixture with water or clam broth (it should be saucy). Distribute among serving bowls or plates, and top with the bluefish. Drizzle any extra clam sauce over the fish. Garnish with the clams in the shell. Serve with rustic bread.
 

 

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