Linguine with Clams and Lemon

While all of you are either at work or school I figured why not give you a great dish to make for dinner tonight. All im saying is give it a try! Put away the ramen noodles and frozen pizzas and take a trip to the grocery store for an inexpensive and easy dish.

Clams are a funny ingredient because not everybody likes the consistency or taste of them. However I have found that many people are simply just to stubborn to try clams in the first place. Saying you don’t like something before trying it must be one of my biggest pet peeves. I had a roommate in college that lived on popcorn and frozen pizzas. The one day I made him a plate of my linguine and clams and he flipped his lid. The only bad part was that he kept hounding me to make it for him again. Enjoy!

Linguine con vongole e limone (Linguine with Clams and Lemon)

Cook time: ~ 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic(finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley (chopped)
  • 2 lb little neck or baby clams (washed and scrubbed)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup clam or fish stock
  • 1 lb Linguine
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

First you want to clean and scrub your clams under cold water. Discard any clams that are not closed and will not close at your touch.

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In a large sautee pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add your garlic till it becomes aromatic (about 30 seconds)

Add clams, stock and white wine and saute in pan. cover and cook until the wine has been reduced and the clams have steamed open (about 6 minutes) discard any clams that did not open. (add a little butter in there if you would like, just dont tell mom)

While clams are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it to taste. Add the linguine and cook (about 8-10 minutes) drain in a strainer and transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and add the clams and stock. lightly dust the lemon zest, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper and mix in with the pasta. Lightly sprinkle your parsley for nice flavor and presentation….Its that easy!

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and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL

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Neapolitan-Style Shellfish

The other day I was out with a beautiful young lady who preceded to ask me a question to which I could not answer. She turned to me and said “what is the greatest dish that you had ever had.” I would like to think my silence was partially because I was distracted by her but in all honesty I did not know. Then it hit me. While I was in Naples I came across the most simple, delicious yet elegant dish I had ever had. 

When I got back to the states I had tried to duplicate it to the best of my ability, yet I always fell a bit short. The dish was always great but it wasnt Naples great. After tampering with the ingredients a bit, I think ive got it!

Without further ado I give to you:

Cozze e’ Vongole alla Napoletana (Neapolitan-style shellfish)

Cook time: ~ 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 lb mixed clams and mussels
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Bermuda onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 1 leek (cut into rings)
  • 1 lb of tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
  • 4 cups dry white wine
  • ~ 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

The first step is a little trick that I learned. Instead of rinsing your shellfish place them in a pot of cold water that has a cup of corn meal in it for about 30-45 minutes. The cornmeal will slightly be absorbed into the shellfish helping expel all the sand that is inside.

While they are draining start de-bearding your mussels. The “beard” is the course like thread that mussels use to attach themselves to rocks and piers.  You may use your fingers or a knife to help grasp the beard and pull it quickly toward the hinge of the shell. The beard rips out of the mussel and should be discarded.How-To-Clean-and-Debeard-Mussels

Next, scrub the surface of your shellfish to remove any sand and corn meal residue.

Over medium-hi heat, heat the olive oil in a large pot and begin to saute’ the garlic, onions and leeks. When the onions have become translucent begin to stir int he tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and cook briefly. (about 4 minutes)

Next, add the shellfish , cover the pot and cook for another 4 minutes. Be sure to shake the pot several times while they are cooking.

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pour in the wine, blend in the parsley and then cover the pot cooking for another 10 minutes on medium heat. When finished be sure to discard any of the mussels or clams that did not open and serve in a bowl with the broth you have created.

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All I have left to say is make sure that there is bread for dipping

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL