Zucchini are easy to grow, and my garden produces an abundance of them in the summer. Zucchini is a great add-on to pasta and the flavor pairs especially well with shellfish.
Technique tip: Clams are filter feeders, so sometimes they have sand inside the shell. To clean clams, first discard any broken ones. Then check if any are opened; if so, tap the open-shell clam lightly on a surface; it should clam up if it is alive. If it does not close, discard the clam, because it is not fresh. Set the clams in a container with enough cold water to cover and let them sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator; they should spit the sand out.
Swap option: If you happen to get your hands on some zucchini blossoms, you can chop them coarsely and add them along with the scallions.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moons (about 1 pound)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 cup scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is light golden, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, and season with the salt and crushed red pepper. Cook until the zucchini just begins to wilt, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and scallions, stir, and cover the pot. Cook the clams until they all open, about 5 to 6 minutes, discarding any that do not open. Uncover, and increase the heat to high to reduce and concentrate the sauce.
4. In the meantime, cook the pasta in the boiling water.
5. When the sauce is ready and the pasta is al dente, remove the pasta with tongs and transfer directly to the sauce. Add the parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if it seems dry. Serve immediately.