Surf ’n’ turf is a classic combo that rarely goes beyond a lobster tail and steak. For a fun twist that’s not quite as costly, pair spicy Mexican chorizo and clams, serve it tossed with pasta, and consider it surf ’n’ turf for the weeknight schedule.
What to buy: Mexican chorizo (not to be confused with its Spanish counterpart) is a fresh pork sausage that must be cooked prior to eating. It can be mild or spicy, and is found at gourmet markets or online. If you can’t find Mexican chorizo, you can sub in any fresh, spicy sausage.
Total Time: 45 mins / Makes: 4 servings
3 dozen manila or littleneck clams (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 pound linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 to 10 ounces good-quality Mexican chorizo, casing removed
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1) Fill a large bowl with cold water and place the clams in the water (they should be covered). Let soak for 10 minutes, then drain. Scrub the clams under cold water and set aside.
2) Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
3) While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large, straight-sided pan with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chorizo and break it up with the back of a spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 6 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
4) Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.
5) Remove the straight-sided pan from heat, carefully add the vodka, and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the reserved clams, cover, and steam until the clams open, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Discard any that don’t open.)
6) Add the clams, chorizo, reserved pasta water, and parsley to the pot with the pasta and stir to combine.
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