Saturday, November 13, 2010

Linguini alle Vongole Rosa

Delicious!  Linguini with red clam sauce is such a nice dish.  The olive oil, lemon, clam juice, garlic and white wine flavors are in this red clam sauce.  You have to make the white clam sauce before modifying it to make red clam sauce!
     Salsa di Pomodoro con Basilico Recipe (Tomato Basil Sauce):
     Heat some olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat.  (The proportion of olive oil to the tomatoes should be about one part olive oil to five parts of tomato.)
     Add 5 very finely chopped garlic cloves and a small handful of minced onion to the hot oil.
     Let the garlic sizzle till it turns a light golden color.
     Add one 28oz can of imported Italian plum tomato puree.
     Place a 28oz can of imported Italian peeled plum tomatoes packed in their own juices into a mixing bowl.
     Hand crush the tomatoes in the bowl and then add them to the sauce.
     Stir the sauce often as it reaches a simmering temperature.
     Pluck the leaves off of an entire large bunch of basil.
     Add the basil leaves to the sauce.  (It may seem like a lot of basil but the leaves will wilt into the sauce.)
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     When the sauce starts to bubble and simmer, reduce the heat to medium low.
     Stir the olive oil that separates from the tomatoes back into the sauce occasionally.
     The rule of thumb is to stir a tomato sauce once every five minutes.  The olive oil will become part of the sauce after the sauce is done cooking.  Without enough olive oil, a tomato sauce may end up looking like stewed tomatoes instead of glistening perfect Italian tomato sauce.
     Simmer this sauce very slowly over low heat for about one hour.
     Set the sauce aside.
     Red Clam Sauce Recipe:  Thoroughly wash some whole clams.  (I used seven medium size clams to make this single portion in the photo.)
     Heat a little splash of olive in a saute pan over medium high heat.
     Add 2 cloves of thin sliced garlic.
     Cook the garlic till it turns a golden color.
     Add the clams in the shells.
     Add a splash of water, a splash of white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a pinch of crushed red pepper and a few pinches of oregano.
     As the clams start to open, pick each clam up and hold them with a towel.
     Shuck the clam meat onto a cutting board.  Discard the shells.  (Retain one whole clam for a garnish.  Just leave the whole clam with the shell in the sauce.)
     Chop the clam meat on the cutting board and add the chopped clams back into the sauce.
     Add some chopped Italian parsley.
     Saute till the sauce reduces slightly.
     Add a small splash of virgin olive oil.
     Add some of the tomato basil sauce.
     Stir and simmer the red clam sauce over medium heat.
     Cook some linguini pasta in boiling water till it is al dente.
     Remove the garnishing clam from the sauce.
     Add the al dente cooked linguini to the sauce in the saute pan and toss the sauce and pasta together.
     Plate the pasta using a chef's fork.
     Pour any excess sauce over the pasta.
     Set the whole cooked open clam in the shell on top of the pasta.
     Place a parsley sprig and lemon slices on the clam shell to finish the garnish.
     Sprinkle some chopped Italian parsley over the pasta.
     This pasta is so very great tasting!  By cooking the whole clams in the sauce, the clam juices stay in the sauce.  The fresh ocean flavor of a great clam sauce is so satisfying.  When cooking a vongole like this, use a clam for a garnish.  It is good to show off how fresh the clams are.  You don't need clam juice when using whole clams to make this sauce.  Canned clams are definitely taboo.  This pasta is one of my favorites.  Yum!  Ciao Baby!  ...  Shawna

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