- Date: Friday, February 12, 2010 -- 6pm
- Location: Berkeley, CA
- Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Recipe Rating: C-
I am not a particularly picky eater, but I am pickier than my special gentleman, who will eat pretty much anything. Of the 729 recipe he has sampled from The Book, I can count on one hand the number that he has refused to eat (the Figgy Pudding comes to mind). He makes fun of me for being picky, which I accept from him, since it is true in comparison. Since I started the All Seafood All The Time plan he will often ask me what's for dinner, and when I tell him he will say, "I predict my Teeny will be making some Cream of Wheat!' Cream of Wheat is my standby on the rare occasions that I deem my Book dinner inedible. To be fair, although he says this nearly every day I hadn't actually made Cream of Wheat as a dinner replacement in months. That is, until last Friday! I chose two recipes from The Book for dinner -- both of them with shellfish. I flipped through The Book counting seafood recipes recently and I realized just how much shellfshish there is left! When it comes to fish that don't live in a shell I am doing pretty well. But there are LOTS of clam, oyster, and mussel recipes left (not to mention the lobster, crawfish, scallops, crab, etc... recipes). I am focusing first on making a dent in the mussel and clam recipes, so I am trying to fit a mussel and/or clam dish in almost every meal. On Friday I went all out and did one of each.
To make this clam pasta I started by cooking strips of pancetta in olive oil. Then I added garlic, and then clams, clam juice, white wine, and red pepper flakes. I brought the mixture to a boil and covered it, cooking until the clams opened wide. Meanwhile, I cooked some linguine in boiling salted water. I added the pasta to the sauce, simmered for 30 seconds, tossed with parsley and drizzled with olive oil. This dish sounded like it had potential. I love pasta. I love pancetta. I like clams well enough. But it was just not good. Pasta with clams can be awesome, but typically it is not as clammy as this recipe. This recipe called for a cup (which is an entire small bottle!) of clam juice. That was the base of the sauce. The strong clam flavor overpowered the wine. And the pancetta. Plus, the super-clammy sauce didn't have any body to it. The dish tasted like linguine, dipped in clam juice, topped with clams. I wasn't a fan. It was bad enough, actually, that my special gentleman didn't like it either. He ate it anyway. I, on the other hand, had Cream of Wheat for dinner, which was a huge improvement.
The recipe is here.