Balance The Flavor Of Clams With Celery Leaves In Your Next Pasta

bowl of clam pasta
bowl of clam pasta - BenjaminAsher/Shutterstock

Seafood pasta carries associations of a luxurious meal; delicious lobster ravioli or a shrimp and scallop scampi isn't always weeknight fare. Yet, there is one seafood product that's ready for casual pasta integration: canned clams. Their salty meatiness perfectly complements the noodles, while canning liquid makes for a terrific sauce. All it takes is a few inventive pairings to make the dish shine, so turn to celery leaves for an herbal note.

You can use the stalks as an aromatic alongside onions and garlic, but don't neglect the flavor potential of the leaves. As a vegetable in the parsley family, they do share a strong resemblance to their cousin herb. Darker leaves offer a concentrated celery flavor that can lean into pungent herbal bitterness. Meanwhile, the light green leaves are more restrained, adding a bright and complex touch. Add a bit of both to complement the oceanic clams with herbal flavor. Their vegetal zest perfectly plays with the clam's salty and savory notes, pairing together to craft a delicious pasta.

Read more: 13 Unexpected Ingredients To Elevate Lasagna

Add Celery Leaves To Clam Pasta For A Delicious Dose Of Herbal Flavor

celery slices on cutting board
celery slices on cutting board - Redmond135/Shutterstock

The best method of integration into the pasta depends on the celery leaf type. Those darker exterior leaves will have a more chewy texture, so you'll want to add a few while simmering the sauce. With a liquid braise, they'll cook down and infuse their aromatics into the pasta. Expect a flavor even more intense than the stalk, with vegetal grassiness leaning to a hint of anise. Such a dark-green herb will delectably meld into the savory and salty clam juice sauce.

Meanwhile, the more delicate, light-colored leaves make for an ideal final garnish. Finely chop, and then sprinkle them atop the pasta, giving the dish not only an herbal complexity but a dash of eye-catching green, too. They lend a palate similar to parsley but with a celery-like herbal quality, ideal for a seafood finish.

From a can of seafood and accessible celery, a world of culinary ideas emerges. Since celery exists in both European and Asian cuisines, it also opens the door for a broad inspiration of styles. Spin the dish away from an Italian palate by adding some Thai green chiles and a bit of soy sauce. And if you're after an even more herbal pasta, seek out Chinese celery for the most aromatic clam pasta possible.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.