spaghetti with smoked oysters
photo by Jennifer Johnson
Crispy, garlicky breadcrumbs add tons of texture while the cheddar cheese is really the unexpected star on top. As the cheese melts, is slowly takes on the smoky flavor from the oysters and the sauce.
4 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste, divided
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1 medium shallot, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 3-3.75-ounce tin smoked oysters, drained and chopped (reserve oil from tin)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Freshly grated white cheddar cheese, for serving
In a bowl, combine 2 cloves garlic with breadcrumbs and, using your fingers, toss to combine.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 table-spoon oil over medium heat. Add garlic/breadcrumb mixture and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Gently wipe out pan and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 7-10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups cooking water, and set aside.
Return sauté pan to medium heat and add remaining 1tablespoon oil. Add shallot and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook another minute. Add wine and reserved oyster liquid and cook until almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water and cook until mixture is reduced by about half.
Add pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Add additional pasta water as needed to reach desired amount of sauce. Add oysters and remaining 1 tablespoon butter, tossing to just warm through and melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Divide among serving bowls and top each with garlic/breadcrumb mixture and cheddar and serve.