Trip to Italy

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! 

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  • Danielle
    December 24, 2007 at 3:41 am

    Oh delicious! I love linguini with clams and love how you took the risk to try it with fresh ones 🙂 I hope to be the adventurous chef that you’re becoming some day!

  • azelma
    December 24, 2007 at 4:20 am

    I love clam sauce as well, but it never looks this elegant with the canned version, I now have a desire to try out real ones! Also, I am ADDICTED to the ginger dressing, it’s beyond great!

  • jenna
    December 24, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I was really surprised about the clams! Buying them live was only about 4 dollars and it made the world of difference and really didn’t take any longer at all to do! I added chopped canned clams as well though just for some more because I loove clams! Yall should try it!!

  • Kath
    December 24, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Clams look very fancy and yummy!! I don’t think I’d want to deal with live clams – or lobster. I’d feel too bad.

    About the email, you should probably just call Blue Host support and see if they can help. I have no idea how I fixed mine. Or spend some time on the Wordpres.org message boards – that’s where I found my answer (I think).

  • jenna
    December 24, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    unfortunately I think culinary school has hardened my heart for killing seafood! haha 🙂

    I was on the phone with bluehost last night trying to figure this out but it was no help! Oh well, I guess its not a necessity to be alerted whenever a comment is made.

  • Eat, Live, Run » A Nice Break
    August 10, 2008 at 1:09 am

    […] have to use your imagination). For my dinner, I ordered my absolute FAVORITE: linguine with clams! Remember when I recreated it at home? This was better :). I ordered a half sized portion but it was still definitely big enough to feed […]