Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Linguine with Clam Sauce (Page 215)

RECIPE #1102

  • 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.


Auldo said...

Too bad it didn't work out. Linguine with clams can be extremely delicious, it is one of my favorite pasta dishes. It helps I absolutely love shellfish.

I just clicked through your blog and damn girl you made quite a number of dishes. Your better half must be very pleased with the project.

Teena said...

This was just not a good version of linguine with clams.

My better half is indeed a fan of my project!