Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't be a Sauce-ist

Gotta feed the kids before soccer practice?  Poker:30 at the casino?  Feeding a friend before their work shift?  Need some quick grub before a night out of drinking?  I got your gourmet back.  Angel Hair with red clam sauce.  Basically, Linguine with clam sauce ORRRRR...with whatever you have in your cabinet, but I regularly have Angel Hair pasta.  Not a big fan of tubed pasta.  Call me a tube-ist, I don't care.

Some people treat Linguine with clam sauce like they treat clam chowder.  They will eat only one, NOT the other.  I like to call these people sauce-ists.  You got your red chowder and your white chowder.  Manhattan Clam Chowder is the tomato based Chowder and then you got your New England Clam Chowder, the creamy one.  I personally like both.  I would snuggle up with either on a cold day.  And then there's tomato-y Linguine with clam sauce and there's non-tomato-y (yes that's a word) Linguine with clam sauce.  Which I again, personally like both.  If you present either dish to me, I will kiss you on the mouth.  You rock for simply feeding me something yummy.

So I had a particular night where I had to make food in a jam, and I frantically opened my pantry, my cabinets and my fridge and decided upon Angel Hair with Clam Sauce.  Ok, now here's me being a hypocrite. Because I'm a HUGE fan of fresh food.  And I think fresh food is THE tastiest of foods.  But here's me being a realist.  Sometimes we just don't have the freshest ingredients and we don't have the time to go grab some.  And sometimes you're broke and canned clams are cheaper for you than fresh clams.  I PREFER fresh clams.  Who doesn't?  But sometimes, you have to sacrifice fresh, for cheap.  As long as most of your other ingredients are fresh, you will be much happier with the don't sweat the pricey stuff.  Here's my recipe for quicky Angel Hair with RED Clam Sauce.  If you are a sauce-ist, you can stop reading now. 

Here's What You Need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (or more if you like.  Or less if you're a heat wuss)
1 cup chicken stock (You could use seafood stock or vegetable stock, but I had chicken on hand b/c I make my own)
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 can of chopped clams
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguine, cooked to al dente
2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Parmesan Cheese
Crusty Bread (just plan to eat crusty bread with everything...I do.)

Here's What You Do:
Cook your pasta.  Heat the oil in a medium stockpot over high heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add crushed red pepper and cook for a few seconds.  Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until it reduces by half, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the clams, just until heated through. 

If you are using fresh clams, add them in, cover them for about 3 minutes, until they all crack open their lovely little shells, as if to say, "EAT ME".  If they don't open, toss 'em, or plan to spend the rest of the night hugging your toilet.  Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked pasta, parsley and basil until combined.

Plate in bowls.  Sprinkle the top of each serving of pasta with Parmesan.  Some people don't like to mix seafood and cheese.  I call these people cheesists.  I would cut off my right arm before turning down a piece of cheese.  I am a tube-ist...remember.  Serve with crusty bread, because you are NOT going to want to let the juices go to waste.  One of the easiest, most gourmet-ish dishes you can make in 20 minutes or less.  Don't be a sauce-ist.  Try it.   

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