Ed Cotton brings linguine and clams to The Dish

Boston-bred chef Ed Cotton got an early start on his culinary career, working for chef Todd English when Cotton was still in high school. From there, Cotton has worked all over the world with some of the most acclaimed names in the industry, including Daniel Boulud, Laurent Tourondel and David Burke. The "Top Chef" alum is now the executive chef of Sotto 13 in New York.

Here's how to cook a few of his signature recipes, including: Linguine and Clams, Focaccia Bread, Eggplant Caponata, Nduja Braised Greens, Chicken Cacciatore, Traditional Tiramisu and Blood Orange Palomino to drink.

Linguine & Clams

(yields 4-6)

Ingredients for Clam Stock

4 lbs, reserve 1 lb of cleaned manila clams

1 large shallot, sliced

5-7 garlic cloves, smashed

½ cup white wine

1 cup water

10 thyme sprigs

To Open the Clams

Add olive oil to a medium size pot. Add the garlic, shallots and thyme and cook until tender. Add the cleaned clams, white wine and water. Place a lid on the pot and cook until the clams open. Pour the clams and the liquid into a 4 inch hotel pan lined with a 2 inch perforated hotel pan. Make sure you decant the liquid, leaving behind all the sediment from the clams. Pass the clam liquid through a fine mesh strainer, decanting the liquid again and reserving the liquid. Remove the clams from their shells and reserve the clams and discard the shells.

Pasta Dough

3 eggs

2 cups AP flour (plus more for dusting)

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Pasta Dough

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the eggs & olive oil. With a fork incorporate the eggs with the flour. Once incorporated, using your hands, start working in the rest of the flour. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead it until it comes together and is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough with plastic film and let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. With a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a disk and dust with flour. Set the roller of the electric pasta maker at number 10. Feed the disks, one at a time, through the roller 3 times. Fold each end of the dough to meet in the middle and press down on the middle to seal and flatten with a rolling pin. Feed the open side of the dough through the dough roller 3 times. Adjust the setting to number 9. Feed the open side of the dough through the roller twice. Repeat the same process while adjusting the roller to lower numbers until the thickness desired.

Cut the pasta sheets into 12 inch sheets. Dust with flour in between sheets to prevent them from sticking. Attach the linguine pasta cutter to the pasta machine and pass each pasta sheet

through the cutter. Place the cut pasta on a baking sheet dusted with flour and semolina. If you

are not using the pasta right away, cover it with a slightly dampened kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. Cook pasta when needed in salted boiling water.

Ingredients for Final Dish

2 oz sliced garlic

1 pinch of chili flakes

1 lb reserved manila clams, in the shell

2 oz white wine

Clam cooking liquid

Cooked clams

¼ cup olive oil

½ bunch parsley, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

2 oz grated parmesan cheese

Kosher salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Linguine pasta

Method

Add olive oil to a pan and toast the sliced garlic until golden brown. Add the chili flakes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the clams in shells and slightly roast them. Deglaze with the white wine and add the clam stock. Cover the pot until the clams are open. In the meantime, add the linguine to a pot of salted, boiling water. Once the pasta is al dente add to the opened clams, along with some pasta water and some more of the clam's cooking liquid. Using tongs stir the pasta making sure it doesn't stick to the pan. Add the cooked clams, olive oil, parsley, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until the pasta is nicely glazed. Serve immediately.

Focaccia Bread

1895g flour

1438g water

38g salt

20g yeast

15g sugar

188g olive oil

Toppings: chopped rosemary and sea salt

Method:

Add warm water to yeast, oil and sugar. Place in mixing bowl and let yeast activate. When activated add flour and mix. When almost incorporated add your salt. Mix until well kneaded. Scale out dough to 1400g per well-oiled ½ size sheet pan. Spread the dough to the edges and let proof. Sprinkle sea salt and fresh chopped rosemary over the top of the proofed focaccia then bake on high fan at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until fully cooked. (Note) Rotate the bread in the oven half way thru the cooking process.

Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant Caponata

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

4ea eggplant, peeled & cut into large chunks

6 celery stalks, peeled and sliced on the bias

2 red onions cut into thin wedges

¼ cup capers, rinsed

6 plum tomatoes, quartered

3 cloves chopped garlic

3oz red wine vinegar

2oz sugar

1 good handful of fresh basil, torn up

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a large rondo up with olive oil, fry up the chunked eggplant in batches until golden brown seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove when golden brown & set to the side, now in the same pan sweat out the celery, onions & capers using the same olive oil you used for the eggplant. Add salt & pepper then cook until soft about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and place the cooked vegetables on a papered sheet pan along with the eggplant. Now add the tomatoes, chopped garlic and vinegar along with the sugar. Re season the vegetables and bake at 325 degrees for about an hour or until the tomatoes have lost some of their moisture. Once cooked stir everything together. To serve: its best to serve this at room temperature with the torn basil leaves folded through it.

Eggplant Caponata

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

4ea eggplant, peeled & cut into large chunks

6 celery stalks, peeled and sliced on the bias

2 red onions cut into thin wedges

¼ cup capers, rinsed

6 plum tomatoes, quartered

3 cloves chopped garlic

3oz red wine vinegar

2oz sugar

1 good handful of fresh basil, torn up

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a large rondo up with olive oil, fry up the chunked eggplant in batches until golden brown seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove when golden brown & set to the side, now in the same pan sweat out the celery, onions & capers using the same olive oil you used for the eggplant. Add salt & pepper then cook until soft about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and place the cooked vegetables on a papered sheet pan along with the eggplant. Now add the tomatoes, chopped garlic and vinegar along with the sugar. Re season the vegetables and bake at 325 degrees for about an hour or until the tomatoes have lost some of their moisture. Once cooked stir everything together. To serve: its best to serve this at room temperature with the torn basil leaves folded through it.

Nduja Braised Greens

1 pound and a good handful of triple washed spinach

1 pint diced onions

10 cloves thinly sliced garlic

1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas

2 oz nduja sausage

¼ of butter

½ tablespoon of lemon zest

½ cup tomato puree

¼ cup white wine

Method:

In a large pot melt butter until frothy, add garlic and cook until toasted golden. Once the garlic is golden brown add the diced onions and cook until tender. (No color on the onions) Now add the nduja sausage and let it completely break down and melt. Once it has melted add the spinach and wilt it down until fully cooked. Add the lemon zest, salt, pepper, white wine and tomato puree. Cook it down until now on medium heat for about10 min or until the liquid has reduced half way. Once it has reduced stir in the chickpeas and serve immediately in your favorite serving vessel. (Note) I like to eat this side dish with some grilled bread. It's great to soak up some of the juices from the braised greens.

Chicken Cacciatore

3 whole chickens (2.5-3# average per chicken)

Brine:

1/2 gallon water

1/2 cup salt

1/4 cup honey

6 bay leafs

1/4 cup smashed garlic

1 table black peppercorns

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 bunch thyme

1/2 bunch parsley

Method for Brine:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot & bring to a boil. Once liquid comes to a boil shut off & steep it for a half hour. Strain thru a fine mesh strainer and cool in an ice bath. Once cold submerge the whole chickens inside the brine overnight.

For the Cacciatore:

1 pint of quartered green olives

1 head of fennel, diced

1 onion, diced

20 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

1 quart of roasted red peppers, julienned

1 quart of tomato puree

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups of white wine

Sachet:

Basil

Oregano

Parsley

Black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

Method for the Braise:

Remove the chickens from the brine and discard the used brine. Blot the chickens dry with a towel and using a knife remove the legs from the bird and put them on the side for the braise. Season the chicken legs with salt & pepper and sear until golden brown in a hot pan with a small amount of oil in it. Remove them from the pan and transfer into an oven proof dish skin side up. Now using the same pan add the

sliced garlic & cook until nice and golden brown. Once the garlic is brown add the fennel, onion and cook until soft. Add the roasted peppers then deglaze with white wine. Reduce by half & add the tomato puree and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil then pour the mixture over the seared chicken legs. Add the olives and the sachet then cover with foil and bake at 325 until tender and meat falls off the bone. While the legs are braising, season and roast off the whole chicken breasts that are still on the bone at 350 degrees. This should take about 30 minutes, or until fully cooked. When the chickens are cooked let them rest. Now remove the legs from the braising liquid and clean them keeping the meat in large pieces. Discard the sachet, chicken skin and all the bones. While cleaning the cooked legs lightly reduce the braising liquid by a ¼ then fold the leg meat back into the braising liquid and season with salt and pepper. Take the roasted chicken breasts and carve them off the bone and serve with your braised chicken legs.

Traditional Tiramisu

6 oz espresso (or very strong coffee)

1 oz dark rum

4-1/2oz sugar

3 eggs, separated

2oz marsala wine

1 cup of mascarpone

Savioiardi sponge lady fingers (store bought)

Cocoa powder for dusting

Method

Combine the warm espresso coffee with the rum and ½ oz of the sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Separate the eggs. In the mixer whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Remove the whites from the mixing bowl and refrigerate until needed. Add the remaining sugar and the marsala wine to the yolks. Whisk until pale and fluffy, add the mascarpone and whip until light and airy. Fold the whisked egg whites into the yolk mixture then place into a pastry bag.

For each glass you will need approximately 2 sponge lady fingers. Dip a sponge finger in the coffee mixture and let it absorb enough of the liquid to wet it still leaving it a touch crunchy. Cut in half each lady finger and place one at the bottom of the pot. Spoon over 1 tbsp of the mascarpone cream and dust it over with the cocoa powder. Take another soaked lady finger, cut it in half and lay both halves on top. Cover with more cream. Right before serving it, deliberately dust the top of the pot with cocoa powder

Blood Orange Palomino

rocks/lime

1.5 oz blanco tequila

1.5 oz blood orange juice

3/4 oz ginger simple syrup

3/4 oz lime juice

1/2 oz triple sec

Combine all ingredients over ice into boston mixer, shake, strain over fresh ice.