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Food & Drink Blog

Monday Meal: Simple Clam Sauce

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2012-11-12 -

I first started making this simple and inexpensive clam sauce for pasta when I was in college and didn't have much of a food budget. It's a great larder meal, utilizing mostly stuff you might already have on hand in the pantry: canned clams, dried pasta and such. 

If you'd like to see my clam-sauce recipe using fresh clams, click here. However, when I'm in a hurry and don't want to have to track down and clean fresh clams, this easy-and-quick recipe is still very tasty. If you use minced clams (versus chopped or whole), even the kids will enjoy it. 

Ingredients: 

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 cans (71/2 oz. size) clams -- minced, chopped or whole, reserving the juice of one can

1/2 cup white wine

1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced

12 oz. dried pasta -- linguine, spaghetti, or whatever you prefer 

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

salt and black pepper to taste

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Method: 

Bring a large, salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to just al dente according to package directions.  

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the garlic until just golden. Don't burn the garlic!

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Add the clams and reserved clam juice to the pan, along with the wine, and cook for about 3 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.

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Lower the heat to medium-low and add the thyme and parsley, along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. (I like a copious amount of black pepper with this dish, but you don't have to use any if you'd rather not.) Set the clam sauce aside off the heat. 

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When the pasta is al dente, drain it and return it to the cooking pot. Toss with the 2 tablespoons of butter. 

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Once the butter is thoroughly incorporated into the pasta, add the clam sauce from the skillet. Toss well and serve immediately.

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Note: It's considered bad form in Italy, but I still like to serve fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano with my pasta and clam sauce. 

Photos by Ted Scheffler

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