Happy as a Clam

Last night I was on the phone with my mom after getting home from work. This is how our conversation went:

Mom: So, what are you going to do tonight?
Me: Probably get ready for my interview, make a little dinner, fall into bed. The usual.
Mom: Oh yeah? What are you having for dinner?
Me: (looking at the half finished gluten free cherry pie in front of me) I don’t know, probably some vegetables or something.

So typical. She knew I was lying and made me promise to eat something healthy. I was really craving comfort food after a stressful few days at work but I didn’t really have much in the way of actual food around the joint. All of a sudden, it hit me that you only need about 5 main ingredients to make my favorite mom/gramma recipe of all time: Clam Sauce with Linguine.


Now, in my big fat Italian family, we don’t bother distinguishing between “white” and “red” clam sauce because we don’t bother with the red. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one flavor and it’s the white one. Red sauce does not belong anywhere near my clams, thank you very much.

I only eat this dish when I’m desperately seeking warmth and solace and need to eat my feelings (also every year on my birthday). It’s not particularly bad for you but it is rich and soul satisfying in a way that only an olive oil based sauce can be. Oh, and cheese. Mm.

I used DeBoles Spaghetti style corn pasta for this, because I unfortunately couldn’t find the linguine shaped ones that I saw at the Tyson’s Corner Whole Foods. (Damn you, Tenleytown Whole Foods! Don’t you know I need linguine?!) It actually tasted wonderful, but linguine will pick up much more of the sauce, so if you can find it, use linguine.

I should also mention that this is an incredibly cherished and fiercely protected family recipe that I used to use to ensnare men on a 3rd or 4th date. I didn’t use it on Keith but he loves me anyway. šŸ™‚ I’m sure my grandmother would be thrilled for me to share it with all those gluties that sincerely wish for delicious pasta dinners.


Gramma Pantaleo’s Clam Sauce and Linguine

Ingredients:
canned chopped clams in juice (use 1 can per person, plus one extra)
1 clove of garlic per person, minced
olive oil
grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
GF linguine or spaghetti (I used corn pasta because I find that rice pasta tends to get too mushy in this sauce)

1) Heat olive oil a large saute pan over medium low heat. Saute garlic in oil until the garlic has flavored the oil. Be sure not to let the garlic brown.

2) Add chopped clams AND juice, basil, chili flakes and heat over medium heat for about 15 minutes uncovered. You are trying to reduce the liquid by about 1/3. Once it’s reduced, it will be incredibly rich and dense.

3) After the liquid has reduced, add the cornstarch and a generous shake of parmesan cheese. Stir to combine (use a whisk if that’s easier for ya).

4) Spoon the sauce and clams over a bowl of cooked pasta. Top with a little more cheese if you’d like. Definitely don’t eat this with vegetables. Who are we kidding? Just eat your pasta and enjoy it without trying to be a health nut. šŸ™‚

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6 Responses to “Happy as a Clam”

  1. Dawn Says:

    I don’t even like clams but your description has me drooling!

  2. Dawn Says:

    I don’t even like clams but your description has me drooling!

  3. The Empty Envelope Says:

    Hehe! I’m allergic but it does *sound* nummy!

  4. The Empty Envelope Says:

    Hehe! I’m allergic but it does *sound* nummy!

  5. Rachel Says:

    Linguine with white clam sauce was the very first recipe I posted on my blog, so you know it’s one of our favorites too. I like its versatility: sometimes I add a little pesto, white wine, butter, fresh clams, parsley, fresh hot peppers, and it’s ALWAYS good.

    I just added your blog to my list of GF blogs over at the Crispy Cook 2.

  6. Rachel Says:

    Linguine with white clam sauce was the very first recipe I posted on my blog, so you know it’s one of our favorites too. I like its versatility: sometimes I add a little pesto, white wine, butter, fresh clams, parsley, fresh hot peppers, and it’s ALWAYS good.

    I just added your blog to my list of GF blogs over at the Crispy Cook 2.

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