We didn’t eat (or cook with, for that matter) many fresh mollusks growing up. My education in this type of seafood was thus rather delayed. One of the things I love about my husband is that he allows me to be adventurous in this area. Honestly, if I say I feel like driving out to Central Market for a specialty item one week, he encourages me explore. I suspect this is because I don’t run amok too often, so it all balances out.
We were so taken with the marinara dish we made last month from Alex Guarnaschelli’s The Home Cook that we took aim at another one of her pastas. This time it was her mom’s Linguine with Clams and while it did not disappoint, it was not quite as amazing as the marinara. I’m definitely making that marinara again…
I’ve used littleneck clams before. A few years ago we lived near a Whole Foods. As great as my local Sprouts is (and it is pretty great), Whole Foods is just really great about carrying more specialty type items. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little extra. Living near a Whole Foods enabled me to sample littleneck clams for the first time. They’re small with a delicate, briny sweetness to their meat. The other pro was that they weren’t exorbitant. At $7.99/lb, they were downright affordable!
The simple clam juice-butter sauce was vibrant with spicy pops of garlic and fragrant notes from the bay leaf. Hints of chopped parsley in every bite, balanced the salinity with a little earthiness. The simple sauce was gentle enough to let the tender clams radiate through and be the true star of the dish. It was a great Sunday-after-church-right-before-a-good-nap meal.
What are some of your favorite seafood pastas?