The holidays will be different this year. Why not follow that theme with your dinner menu? Save the more conventional fare for when family and friend can safely gather again.
Instead, this year, Morning Edition host David Greene and Jack Bishop from PBS' America's Test Kitchen cook – virtually – two dishes that might not seem traditional for everyone.
For dinner, a decadent linguine dish called Linguine allo Scoglio. It has an ocean of seafood clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and anchovies all swimming in a divine sauce. And for dessert, chewy hazelnut–browned butter sugar cookies.
For Bishop, these actually are dishes of his childhood Christmases.
"I have an Italian American heritage, and so these cookies say Christmas to me and Christmas Eve dinners with the Feast of the Seven Fishes," Bishop says.
Play to the audio button to hear Bishop and Greene's remote cooking session. Below, find recipes for the cookies and the pasta.
Linguine allo Scoglio
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 12 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1¼ pounds cherry tomatoes, half of tomatoes left whole, remaining tomatoes halved, divided
- 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup minced fresh parsley, divided
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon table salt, plus salt for cooking pasta
- 1 pound linguine
- 1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 8 ounces squid, sliced crosswise into ½-inch-thick rings
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving (2 lemons)
1. Heat ¼ cup oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add clams, cover, and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add mussels, cover, and continue to cook, shaking pan occasionally, until clams and mussels have opened, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer clams and mussels to bowl, discarding any that haven't opened, and cover to keep warm; leave any broth in pot.
2. Add whole tomatoes, clam juice, wine, ½ cup parsley, tomato paste, anchovies, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt to pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have started to break down and sauce is reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until pasta is flexible but not fully cooked, about 7 minutes. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
4. Add pasta to sauce in Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring gently, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in shrimp, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in squid, lemon zest, halved tomatoes, and remaining ½ cup parsley; cover and continue to cook until shrimp and squid are just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Gently stir in clams and mussels. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand until clams and mussels are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed. Transfer to large serving bowl, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and serve, passing lemon wedges separately.
Chewy Hazelnut–Browned Butter Sugar Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
- 2¼ cups (11¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1½ cups (10½ ounces) sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling, divided
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- ¼ cup finely chopped toasted skinned hazelnuts
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl.
2. Place 1½ cups sugar, cream cheese, and hazelnuts in large bowl. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, then continue to cook, swirling skillet constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Immediately whisk browned butter into sugar and cream cheese (some lumps of cream cheese will remain). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Whisk in egg and milk until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in flour mixture until soft, homogeneous dough forms.
3. Spread remaining ⅓ cup sugar in shallow dish. Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into balls, then roll in sugar to coat; space dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Using bottom of greased dry measuring cup, press each ball until 3 inches in diameter. Using sugar left in dish, sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar over each sheet of cookies; discard extra sugar. (Raw cookies can be frozen for up to 1 month.)
4. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are set and beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes (17 to 22 minutes if baking from frozen), rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.
Recipes reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen.
Barry Gordemer and Dalia Mortada produced and edited the audio story. Heidi Glenn adapted it for the Web.