Our good friend Sandy has come to town, and so far, I’m not that impressed. But I love any socially acceptable excuse not to leave my house for 24 hours, even if getting to stay home is slightly less exciting when you work from there on a regular basis. Still, I’m taking this opportunity to make a big pot of stock with the two chicken carcasses I have hanging out in my freezer, and to work through some of my other weekend catering leftovers. Sometimes it takes a storm to force me to use-up the 56 random items in my freezer. So thank you Sandy, for that.
I ushered in the weather last night with a comforting bowl of spaghetti bolognese. Though I’m not a huge fan of gluten-free substitutions, I’ve become rather obsessed with quinoa-based noodles. Pasta is still the thing I crave most, and I just can’t get through the week without it as a quick meal option.
This clam pasta is another recipe that’s been hanging out in my archives for a while. I made it this summer on the island during another bout of weather. There’s no better place to watch a storm approach than right on the water, and over the years, we’ve seen some pretty spooky ones. Twenty-third street, by comparison, is decidedly less exciting. But I’m hoping my floor-to-ceiling windows will give me my money’s worth at some point today.
Regardless of the view, I’m looking forward to curling up after the excitement of the weekend. My magazine stack has gotten out of control, and I’m especially excited to dig into my college alumni mag with Dana Cowin on the cover.
If you’ve prepared properly for Sandy, and just so happen to have randomly added littlenecks to your shopping cart, perhaps this Spaghetti with Clam Sauce and Three Herbs can be your shelter from the storm. If so, you might just be even weirder than I am. But if not, save this meal for another rainy night and enjoy it alongside a glass of wine, which is something I really hope you all managed to stock up on.
Stay safe, and eat up!
Spaghetti with Clams and Three Herbs
Makes 2 servings
8 ounces spaghetti (I used gluten-free brown rice)
1 ½ pounds clams (cockles, manila, or littleneck – the smaller the better)
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free Udi’s)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
1 rosemary sprig
½ cup dry white wine
Juice and zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup finely chopped mixed herbs – basil, purple basil, chives, and/or parsley
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Place the clams in a large bowl and fill it with cool water. Let the clams soak for 10 minutes. Remove the clams one by one, scrubbing them under more cool water, and set aside in a colander.
3. In a medium lidded saucepan or pot, toast the breadcrumbs over medium-high heat in a small drizzle of olive oil until golden brown. Set aside in a small bowl.
4. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and saute the red chili flakes and garlic until golden brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the shallots and cook for another two minutes, adjusting the heat to medium if the garlic continues to brown. Add the tomatoes and the rosemary sprig and continue to saute until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine, lemon juice and zest, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
5. Arrange the clams in the pan in one even layer. Cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the clams have opened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Discarding any that don’t open.
6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add to the saucepan with the clams and the butter. Carefully fold in the pasta until it is well coated with the sauce.
7. To serve, sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs and herbs over the pasta, either in the pan itself, a serving platter, or in individual bowls. Serve with more bread for sopping and/or a spoon.