I reworked my favorite dinner tonight. This is the dinner I constantly request my mom to make for me whenever I am at home, feel down, tired or just really hungry. I have loved this simple meal for as long as I can remember. My absolute favorite—linguine with clams.
When I was growing up my mom always made this with canned clams…and I loved it! I love the salty, briny, sea flavor that contrasts so brilliantly with the tart lemon, spicy chili flakes and smooth noodles. Tonight, however, I felt like treating myself a little bit and took it to a whole new level.
After talking about how to prepare this with the Chef at work today and reading a section in Nigella Lawson’s “How to Eat”, I felt ready to tackle it. I stopped at the grocery store and bought 6 live clams, a lemon, some parsley and some dry white wine. When I got home, I purged the clams (let them sit in ice water) for about 30 minutes while I meanwhile sauteed 2 garlic cloves (hey, I’m all by myself–I can have garlic breath if I want to!) and a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. I then drained the clams and set them in there, shell and all, and added 2 ounces white white and 2 ounces clam juice (from a drained can of chopped clams). I put a cover on the pan and waited while the clams steamed in the garlicky sauce. It took about 10 minutes or so and one clam didn’t open so I threw him away. I added 1.5 ounce (just about the whole can) of chopped clams and added 2 ounces of hot cooked whole wheat spaghetti. Tossed it all together with some minced parsley and a squeeze of lemon and plated it with a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese. Voila! It really is easier than it sounds and the whole meal took me about 45 minutes, start to finish. Not bad! In Italy they never offer grated cheese on top of pasta but I just love parmesan on everything so I had to add some :).
I ate a small salad as well with a little bit of Amy’s Organic low-fat ginger dressing. I was going to have a glass of the white wine with my meal, but I tasted it and remembered why I don’t really care for white wine that much. I would much rather have a glass of a good red! Oh, well. I drank a glass of water instead!
Purging the clams in ice water before cooking
Delicious! My entire meal, salad included, was about 521 calories
If you haven’t noticed, I started a “Recipes” section to the site. From now on whenever I cook something I’m just going to include the recipe in that section rather than in the post itself. So look there for yummy healthy meal ideas!