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Linguine with Littleneck Clams, Chanterelles and Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Linguine with Littleneck Clams, Chanterelles and Broccoli Rabe Pesto Photo courtesy of Scott Suchman

At Wildwood Kitchen in Bethesda, Maryland, chef Brian McBride takes a no-butter, no-cream approach to cooking. And as hard as it is to believe, his food is still delicious. McBride’s culinary philosophy comes into play in dishes like this Mediterranean-inspired pasta. Here, the chef forgoes a heavy butter- and cream-laced sauce for a surprisingly light broccoli rabe pesto made with mustard, anchovies and capers. We served this pesto with clam linguine, and then used it the next day to dress up a plain chicken dinner.

Makes 4 servings (plus about 1 1/4 cups pesto)

Broccoli Rabe Pesto

1 bunch broccoli rabe

2 anchovy fillets

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon dry salted capers, rinsed

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1½ teaspoons whole-grain mustard

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Littleneck Clam and Linguine Pasta with Chanterelles

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup small chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

20 littleneck clams, scrubbed

Red-pepper flakes

½ cup clam juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound fresh linguine

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1. Make the pesto: Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling water until bright green, then transfer it to the ice-water bath to cool. Drain the broccoli rabe and pat it dry.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment, finely chop the broccoli rabe. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a medium bowl and set aside. Add the anchovies, garlic and capers to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the Dijon mustard and whole-grain mustard and pulse to combine. Add the reserved broccoli rabe and pulse while drizzling in the olive oil until combined. Add additional olive oil, if needed, to thin the pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside.

3. Make the linguine: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large lidded skillet set over medium heat, warm ¼ cup of the olive oil. Add the chanterelles, garlic and shallot; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the clams, a pinch of red-pepper flakes and the clam juice, cover and cook until the clams open, about 6 minutes. Discard any clams that have not opened and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. While the clams are cooking, add the linguine to the boiling water and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the Parmesan. Cover and set aside.

5. Remove the clams from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the reserved pesto. (Reserve the remaining pesto for another use.) Divide the reserved pasta among four shallow bowls and distribute the clams and sauce evenly over the top. Garnish with additional Parmesan and serve immediately.

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