Tag Archives: pasta dishes

Easy Steamed Clams for Me – Easy Linguine with Clam Sauce for the Kid

13 Apr

The problem:  I want steamed clams. My dad wants steamed clams. My son won’t eat them. Nor will my mom. I don’t want to cook two meals, because as much as I like to cook, this is not a bloody restaurant.

Cherrystones

Cherrystones

The solution: Both my son and my mom will eat pasta with seafood flavor. So I steam the clams in a nice cooking liquid, remove the offending shells and shellfish for me and my dad, then plump up the liquid into a delicious pasta sauce for the other two.

yum, clams

yum, clams

And so, we had a lovely casual dinner on the deck, with the remainder of the bottle of white wine, everyone enjoying the arrival of spring (and celebrating the absence of the mosquitoes that have been effing up our summer nights for the last few years).

linguine and clams

linguine and clams (these clams were removed immediately after the picture and eaten by me. The pasta went to the kid.

The whole operation takes only as long as it takes to cook up the pasta. So go for it! Click on for recipe

 

cheese for the kid

cheese for the kid

Steamed clams and BONUS linguine with white wine, butter and clam sauce

½ lb linguine (this sauce will stretch for a pound of pasta – 4 servings – if you are extra generous with all ingredients)

1 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp garlic, chopped fine

½ Cup dry white wine

A dozen cherrystone clams in their shells, scrubbed

1 tsp or so lemon juice

6.5 oz can chopped clams

Parmigiano Reggiano for grating

Boil pasta according to package directions. Reserve ¼ Cup of pasta water before draining.

Melt butter in a large saucepan at medium high. When foaming subsides, add olive oil and garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add wine and lemon and bring to a boil.

Add clams in their shells and cover. Cook at medium high until the clams open and remove each one with tongs as it opens. I advise checking after about three minutes, and then uncovering every minute or so after that, to move cooked clams out of the pot as quickly as possible, because they get chewy if overcooked. Set clams aside/start eating them with a glass of that nice dry white wine you opened to cook them.

To the remaining clam cooking liquid, add the can of clams, with juices. Cook at medium high for 1-2 minutes, then add drained pasta, and, if necessary, some of the reserved pasta water. Taste for salt, add pepper if desired and serve with grated cheese.

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“Mom. Blog This. Right Now.” (Leandro Makes His First Pesto and Wants You To Know How Great It Was)

11 Aug

It is high season for basil, which means high season for pesto. I forgot to pick up basil from the farm this week, but one of the neighbors’ friends, in gratitude for Sangría Night, sent some over from the overabundance in her own garden.

From Lindsay’s Garden

Between that and my little plants scattered around the yard, I had enough for a quickie pesto for Leandro’s couscous.

From our garden – not the greatest shot, but the other ones showed all the perforations from unknown creatures feasting merrily on my herbs!

And then, BONUS! I had Leandro making his own dinner! He loves the smell of basil, but what he truly couldn’t resist was a go with the pestle. Nothing like offering a five-year-old a club and saying “Have at it, kid. Call me when you’ve beaten this stuff to a pulp.”

The Little Chef at work

He was tremendously excited at every turn, making me smell all the different aromas as we added ingredients to the mortar. We mixed it into couscous for lunch with the grands and wasn’t he so proud to have made The Best Pesto Ever? We were proud too and it really was delicious. I also used some of it to spread on roasted eggplant, peppers and zucchini. What a terrific lunch! And a wonderful kitchen experience!

Note the unorthodox use of walnuts (Poor Marcella Hazan; I use her The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking all the time, but never quite stick to the classical line). I can’t afford to keep pine nuts around so walnuts were a worthy and handy substitute. (Mind you, with the price of walnuts rising — around $18 now for a 3-lb bag at Costco these days, up from $15 not too many months ago — who knows how long I’ll be able to afford those!). Also, this recipe can certainly be increased; I only had a cup of basil.

 

With Couscous

Hand-Ground Pesto (Mortar and Pestle needed)

1 Cup basil leaves, tightly packed (washed in cold water and patted dry)

1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled

2 Tbs walnuts

 Coarse sea salt (pinch by pinch, to taste)

¼ Cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (additional Tbs romano cheese optional)

¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil

In a mortar and pestle (marble mortar with wooden pestle is what Marcella Hazan recommends; I use all marble) grind basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, and sea salt into a paste. Add cheese and use pestle to mix well. Add the oil in a thin stream, mixing well with a wooden spoon.

If using pasta, this amount will suffice for about a pound, Reserve some of the pasta cooking water to thin the pesto as you turn it into the pasta. If using couscous, start with two Cups dry (Israeli-style couscous – the big kind – preferred)

On stacked grilled veggies

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