Click to enlarge
With the scares of red tide and various other maladies associated with shellfish, it comes as no wonder that people tend to shy away from cooking these little bastards. In keeping with my theme of making food accessible to all, here’s my take on things…
Fresh is the key to this dish, so here’s how to choose clams in just 3 simple steps:
- Head over to your favorite grocery store and go to the shellfish tank.
- Using the convenient scoop thin, pick out the shellfish that are tightly closed and have a minimum of green gunk on them.
- Hand over to the smiling (or not) attendant who’ll weigh it up and bag it for you.
Once you’ve taken them home, dump the whole shebang into a big bowl filled with cold salt water. The salt water will cause the clams to spit out the sandy grittiness. Give them about 10 minutes and then scrub the mutant slime off each one as you take them out of the water.
Ingredients (prep time, about 30 min, cooking time, about 20 mins)
Chorizo Sausage (or any other smoky sausage for that matter)
Boil some water. Next, dice up the shallots, garlic and onions. I prefer to have ratios of about 2:1:1 for the shallots, garlic and onions respectively. This works out to about 4 shallots, 2 cloves of garlic and a thin slice of onion. Once those are chopped up, throw them into a pan with some butter on medium heat. You’ll want a fairly deep pan with a lid as this is where the shellfish will be steamed.
While the mix is browing, cut up the sausages into cubes and toss into the pan as well. Once the meat is nicely browned, toss in the clams and mix around. Pour the white wine into the pan about a third of the way up. Add a spoonful of butter for good measure and cover the pan.
Toss the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook about 2 minutes less than you would normally cook it. For me, that works out to 5 minutes flat because I can’t stand mushy pasta.
At this point, the clams should be open and the white wine mixture reduced. Scoop your spaghetti directly from the pot into the pan with the clams and mix around on medium heat until the pasta is to your desired consistency. Add some salt and pepper to taste. You shouldn’t need very much salt as the butter and the sausages will add the savory flavor to the dish. Serve hot.
If you’re astute, you’ll notice that the picture had mushrooms in it. To get this timing down, you’ll need another pan in which you’ll sautée the mushrooms with butter while the other ingredients are cooking. Once done, scoop the clam and sausage mixture into the pan and add the spaghetti as above.
If you want, you can add in some fresh parsley, but the dish was fine without it.