Spicy Turmeric and Habanero Linguine

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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8 clv garlic, unpeeled
2 T kosher salt, plus more as seasoning as needed
1 lb dried linguine
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t ground turmeric
1 habanero, seeded & minced, plus more as garnish if desired
2 c packed whole basil leaves plus 1/2 cup chopped basil
1 T coarsely cracked black pepper
1/4 c gin
1 c bottled clam juice
48 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 lime, zest only
2 T fresh lime juice
4 T unsalted butter
1/2 t turmeric
lime wedges, as needed


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Loosely wrap the garlic cloves in foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until very soft. Peel the garlic. Set aside.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, stir to separate and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Reserving the empty pot to use later.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic, turmeric and minced habanero and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the whole basil leaves, black pepper, gin and clam juice, cover and cook over low heat until the liquid has reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Strain the reduction into the large large pot you boiled the linguine in, pressing on the solids. Bring the strained liquid to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook, shaking the pot a few times, until they start to open, 3 minutes. As the clams open, transfer them to a bowl and keep covered. When all of the clams have opened, boil the broth over high heat until reduced to about 2 cups of clam broth, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime zest and lime juice.

Add the cooked linguine to the pot with the reduced clam broth and toss to coat. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated into the sauce. Transfer the pasta to the pot, stirring to combine. Turn the pasta out onto a serving bowl. Top with the clams, chopped basil and additional minced habernero if desired. Serve warm with lime wedges on the side.

Serves 4.

From sippitysup.com