About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Tuna Sauce with Tomatoes and Garlic | Main | White Clam Sauce »

Clam Sauce with Tomatoes

Let's see, the last time I've cooked with clams is ... never. In fact I don't think I've ever eaten clams, other than in a soup, more than a handful of times. Mussels, yes, but clams not very often. Happily, Marcella provides explicit directions on how to prepare the clams for cooking.

This recipe call for littleneck clams. I had to drive into Nepean (about 40 miles from my home) to Lapointe's Fish Market - http://www.lapointefish.ca/ - phoned ahead to make sure the clams were available at that location. Lapointe's has a larger presence in downtown Ottawa in the Byward Market area - but that would have added quite a bit of time & some inconvenience to my excursion. Having read Marcella's directions on the preparation of the clams, I was most impressed by the counter guy at Lapointe's as he sorted through the selection available to make sure that the ones he sold me were top quality. Highly recommend Lapointe's - they know what they are doing.

I like most seafood - cuttlefish being the only exception so far - but my wife doesn't stray far from salmon. In fact, she's been known to refuse to enter a perfectly good restaurant in Paris because there were too many fish on the menu. My challenge with this recipe was to prepare something that my wife would eat.

This is a pasta dish with a clam-based tomato sauce - ingredients shown below.

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Unlike some other recipes prepared so far, everything (except the pasta) is prepared in a sauce pan.

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From start to finish, the dish takes about an hour. Is it worth it? Well, my wife, the mollusk-phobe, went back for seconds. Delicious.

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Comments (6)

Marcella Hazan:

Driving 40 miles for clams? You are really taking this commitment to heart, Doug. And you evidently have a mean hand with pasta sauces, converting your spouse first to anchovies, then to clams. I find that very often someone who claims not to like any particular variety of seafood has experienced it in a mediocre execution. Good, fresh seafood prepared in the deft, unlabored Italian manner is generally very easy to take.

I wonder how you have experienced cuttlefish. In Venice, small, fresh cuttlefish from the lagoon is so highly prized that in the market it is priced several times imported Norwegian salmon. Its flesh is tender and sweet-tasting and its ink is the only one that Venetians will use on risotto or pasta, preferring it by far to squid ink. I can't find such cuttlefish here and both Victor and myself miss it very much.

Good for you to go to such lengths to procure a quality ingredient, very impressive!

I have had many friends and family members say things such as "I don't like" (insert whatever variety of seafood here). When I ask why, they say "it smelled and tasted fishy" meaning not in a good way. Nothing like high quality, fresh seafood.

Doug:

Marcella, I ordered cuttlefish at a recommended seaside restaurant - Dona Barca - in Portimao in the Algarve. My first mistake was not inquiring what they were. I was expecting a fish - you know something with gills & fins. Instead I got a plateful of large black bugs which I tried to eat - my second mistake.

I am an apheresis blood donor. I drive into Ottawa every two weeks to make my donation. Normally I plan my special Pomodori e Vino shopping around my visits to the blood clinic. However, the littleneck clams (& swordfish steaks for another recipe) jaunt was a special trip. No problem - if I wasn't willing to go out of my way a bit, I wouldn't have agreed to join the group when I was asked.

Another wonderful sounding (and looking) pasta from you Doug. I'm enjoying reading your posts.

I have never eaten cuttlefish. I did however snorkel over one in a little bay in Sydney. It was a magnificent creature. I was also fortunate to see sea horses in the same bay. Eventually I saw stingrays as well, which didn't work out so well for me as I got barbed by one and spent days in Emergency having my foot operated on. Strangely enough, on my first day out I enjoyed a dish of clams cooked in the Italian fashion, although not with pasta, at a lovely place overlooking Bondi beach.

Marcella Hazan:

If you were expecting gills and fins, Doug, cuttlefish in its ink must have been a shock. Our appreciation of food is not pure sensation, it reaches us through various filters, some of them cultural, some of them sentimental, some made up of expectation. If you pick something up from a buffet table that looks like an apricot tart to you, but turns out upon eating it to be a salmon canape, the flavor will be most disagreeable, even if it is the finest wild caught Scottish salmon. I taught classes in Venice for over twenty years and I never let a class leave without having tasted black risotto with cuttlefish. I prepared them for the experience and I can't remember a single student who failed to enjoy it. I wish it had been you that I took in hand to my favorite restaurant.

I am grateful for the conscientiousness, skill, and literacy that you are contributing to this project.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 16, 2010 6:00 AM.

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