Project Description

Photo from Tasting Table.

Juicy clams and sausage go brilliantly with the pronounced nutty flavor of whole milled pasta. The recipe, originally published in conjunction with Tasting Table’s “The Grain Attraction”, was created by Chef Jonah Rhodehamel of Oliveto Restaurant. It includes instructions for handmade pasta; however, feel free to substitute with any Community Grains’ long shape, such as spaghetti or fettuccine, and add a pinch of saffron with the white wine.

Saffron Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage and Clams

Serves 4-6.
Originally posted on Tasting Table, from Chef Jonah Rhodehamel


For the pasta dough:

  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 pinch saffron, ground fine in a mortar and pestle
  • 1¼ cups whole-grain durum wheat flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • 3 eggs

For the whole wheat pasta dish:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
  • ½ pound (6 leaves) Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ pounds Manila clams, rinsed
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 pound fresh whole wheat pasta
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Cooking Instructions

  1. Make the pasta dough: In a small bowl, combine the water and saffron, and let steep as it cools slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole-grain and semolina flours. Push the flour mixture along the sides of the bowl and form a well for the eggs. Add the eggs and saffron water, and, using your fingertips, gradually push the flour into the eggs and water until it just starts to form a dough. When it’s nearly combined, transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough using the heel of your hand, rotating and repeating, 10 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. While the dough rests, make the bread crumbs: In a small sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir the mixture frequently until the bread crumbs are toasted and golden brown in color, 7 to 8 minutes. Season the bread crumbs with salt, turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Roll out the pasta dough: Using a bench scraper, divide the dough in two. Keep half of the dough covered with a damp towel while rolling out the remaining half through a pasta machine to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut the rolled-out dough into sheets 7 inches wide and 14 inches long. Push the sheets through a traditional chitarra frame or a chitarra attachment. Repeat with the other portion.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it’s browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the kale and sauté until the greens are tender and slightly caramelized, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, red pepper flakes, clams and white wine. Cover the pan with a lid until the clams begin to open, 4 to 6 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, add the butter and let the liquid reduce until it coats the back of a spoon, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the pasta and toss it in the sauté pan, along with the lemon juice. Transfer the pasta and clam mixture to a large serving platter, garnish with the prepared bread crumbs and parsley, then serve.