When your boss climbs up two flights of stairs, walks to your desk, and asks you innocently, “Do you like clams?” You wonder if it’s a trick question. Well, I wondered that anyway … as it were, he wanted to offer me fresh clams, harvested this morning by a client on the Eastern Shore. I took two dozen and happily went home to make clam spaghetti for my parents and “little” brother Brandon. It was a challenge in itself to get a picture of the finished dish (a mere 20 minutes after I began; this is quick!) – Brandon was hovering over the platter with tongs, ready to dish out his portion. “How many clams are there?” “Two dozen.” “Oh okay. So we get 6 each, right?” hah! And he ate all six of his clams. Plus one. Since I got the boys’ hearty approval on this dish, I thought I’d share my method:
- Scrub 2 dozen middleneck clams; throw out any open clams
- Submerge clean clams in big bowl of water; add a handful of flour to the bowl (to help collect sand); mix in flour until dissolved; set aside
- Boil 1 pot of water; add 1 lb. spaghetti; cook to al dente; drain
- While water’s boiling, heat 1/2 c. olive oil in a large pan
- Add 8 finely-chopped garlic cloves & about 3 T. finely-chopped red onion to the hot oil
- Sauté garlic & red onion until translucent, 2-3 mins (don’t brown!)
- While sautéing, drain & rinse the clams you set aside earlier
- Add 1/3 – 1/2 c. white wine & clams to the pan; cover; let cook about 6-7 minutes (the wine helps steam the clams)
- Remove lid; if any clams have not opened, throw them out
- Whisk in a few T. butter (I use unsalted) to make the pan sauce a little thicker & creamy – you could probably add cream here instead, but I prefer butter
- Add about 1/3 c. parsley to the pan
- Dump cooked & drained spaghetti into pan with clams & sauce; toss together; sprinkle with extra parsley sprigs for color
- Eat up!
In the middle of cooking, I drizzled a few slices of ciabatta bread (a weekend Farmer’s Market purchase, 2 days old) with olive oil & threw them under the broiler until light brown. The little crostinis were perfect for sopping up all the yummy sauce at the bottom of our pasta bowls. Mmmm bon appetit!