I've been trying to mix it up a little in the dinner department around here lately. I feel like I get into ruts when I make the same dishes over and over. And over. Those easy go-to standards, that I can throw together without any thought.
So the other night I decided to give Jimmy a treat and make Linguine with Clams. As I have mentioned many, many times, Jimmy is a seafood fanatic. He'd eat it every day if I was willing to make it. Luckily, Jude is also a seafood dude, which is a little strange because he's so damned picky. Even though the kid won't eat anything that resembles a vegetable, he will scarf down his weight in calamari or shrimp. So I decided to make the Linguine with Clams for all of us, taking a risk and ignoring that there are ingredients in it that DO resemble vegetables.
I also must say that Jimmy grew up eating...how do I put this without offending...hmmm...no, can't do it...nasty clam sauce. Mommy's idea of clam sauce is straight out of a can of Progresso.
Which is kind of tasty in a childhood-food-elementary-school-cafeteria kind of way. But there's nothing in it that could remotely be described as "fresh". It's basically a bowl of gray matter.
But I just refuse to eat that nastiness, and decided I would make a fresh Linguine with Clams, in the more traditional Italian way, which is in more of a broth than either a cream sauce or a tomato sauce.
I was apprehensive, but, surprise, surprise, they BOTH went crazy for it. Jimmy ate himself silly, and Jude ate even more than Jimmy! He's only ten and I'm flabbergasted by the amount of pasta the kid can put away. He even ate parsley despite its greenness! And tomatoes which still looked like tomatoes (as opposed to tomato sauce, which is his staple)! They fought over who got more clams!
Please make this for your family. It's super easy and they will think they've gone to a fancy Italian restaurant!
Linguine con le Vongole
1 lb. linguine
12 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 lbs. fresh clams, the smallest you can find
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 14-oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes, juice reserved, tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
In large pot, boil linguini in salted water, cooking it 1 minute short of al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy stock pot, heat 6 tbsp. of the olive oil. Saute garlic, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Toss in the clams and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 minute more. Add wine, tomatoes and their juice and parsley, and simmer, uncovered, until clams open, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Drain the pasta (reserving about a 1/2 cup of cooking water) and add it to the pot with the clams. Cook, stirring, until linguini is done, about a minute or two. Add some of the reserved cooking water if needed to keep it moist. Add remaining oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley.
Make sure you say the word "Mangia" when you serve it to your awed and adoring family.
This post was inspired by...
Prompt #2 - Share a recipe that everyone in your family loves.