Everyone should make clams!!

Lately I have been noticing I have been buying and making clams a lot more. I really enjoy clams.  They are pretty versatile and they don’t take long to cook.  Plus there is something kind of fun about pulling your food out of a popped open shell!  As an Italian girl even though I don’t like tomatoes I do really love pasta.  This next recipe combined the two in a pretty tasty meal.

The recipe came from the Gordon Ramsay cookbook I own:

The recipe tagged was for Spaghetti Vongole.

I bought my clams same day from Multi Food in Windsor, but I have also bought clams the day before and stored them overnight. To store clams I take my roasting pan and put the rack in it.  I place ice on the rack and then place the clams among the ice.  (The idea is when the ice melts it falls below the rack keeping the clams themselves out of standing water.)  I then place a damp towel on the pan and place it in the fridge. 

To make this dish I brought a pot of water to boil and placed my dried pasta in it. As the pasta cooked I put some olive oil in a large skillet and heated over medium high heat.  Once the oil was hot I placed the clams, garlic, shallot, chile pepper, white wine and basil stalks into the skillet.  I covered the skillet with a lid, shook the pan a few times and let the clams steam until they opened, which was around 4 minutes.

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I then poured the contents of the skillet through a strainer catching the liquid into a bowl.

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I placed the contents of the bowl back into the skillet and cooked over medium heat, reducing slightly.  I then stirred in parsley.

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When the pasta was done cooking I strained it and placed into the skillet with the sauce. I cooked for a minute.

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Then I added the opened clams cooked another minute.

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And served!

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The Verdict: Well…this was delish!  And it may seem like it took a long time to make but I would say once the water for the pasta started to boil it was 15 minutes until it was done, maybe even a little less.  This makes a great non-tomato pasta.  And I know it can be intimidating to buy and cook clams but I dare you all to try this recipe, you won’t believe how easy they are to make!

Pasta with Clams
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Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs pasta clams
  2. 10 oz dried spaghetti
  3. 2 TB olive oil
  4. 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed slightly
  5. 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  6. 1 red chile pepper, cut into quarters and seeded
  7. 6 stalks of basil
  8. 1/3 cup white wine
  9. 2 TB parsley, finely chopped
  10. fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot with water with a bit of salt to boil. While the water heats up wash and scrub clams using cold water. If there are any clams that are not tightly shut squeeze them shut. If the clam does not stay tightly shut then discard it. Set cleaned clams aside.
  2. When water is boiling place pasta into the water. As the pasta cooks heat a large skillet with oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the clams, garlic, shallot, chile, basil stalks and wine. Cover the skillet and give it a shake. Steam the clams, shaking the skillet a few time, until the clams open, about 4 minutes.
  3. Place a strainer over a bowl. Pour the contents of the skillet through the strainer. Take the liquid from the bowl and place back into the skillet and place on the stove over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sauce. Then stir in parsley, season with pepper and continue to cook.
  4. When the pasta is done cooking, strain it and add it to the skillet. Mix with the sauce and cook for a minute. Add the opened clams back into the skillet, stir with the pasta and sauce and serve.
Notes
  1. I like to buy my clams the day I'm using them but sometimes that's not always possible and I need to store them overnight. To store overnight I take my roasting pan and put the rack in it. I place ice on the rack and then place the clams among the ice. (The idea is when the ice melts it falls below the rack keeping the clams themselves out of standing water.) I then place a damp towel on the pan and place it in the fridge.
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite
Cooking with Rosemary http://www.cookingwithrosemary.com/