"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spaghetti with Clam Sauce to Die For!: Foodie Friday



spaghetti with clam sauce
Spaghetti with Clam Sauce copyright 2012

When I say this recipe is “to die for” I mean it quite literally. When my great aunt Jenny was in the hospital for the last 2 weeks of her life my mother had to bring her spaghetti and clam sauce every night for dinner. “I don’t want to go out eating hospital food.” Jenny would say, “I want to go out eating what I love.” 
Jenny was 96 yrs. old and comfortable with the fact that she was dying. She had lived a rich and full life. She was very involved in her church and local politics, and never missed a good party! So, when she told me, “I’m gonna die now.” All I could say was, “I think that’s OK.” “I know it is” she said, “but you listen to me, you need to have another baby. That one is lonely.”
So a year later I had my daughter and she loves spaghetti and clam sauce so much  that she asked me to make it for her 3rd grade food heritage party. “Don’t you want me to make lasagna or raviolis, something that most kids will eat.” “No it’s my favorite dish.” So I made it, and she was right. The kids and parents gobbled it up. I will never doubt my daughter’s culinary sense again, and I will never underestimate what a 3rd grader might eat.


Spaghetti with Clam Sauce
by Diane Balch
prep: 20 minute serves: 4-6
1 pound of Barilla Plus Spaghetti or Schar's gluten-free Spaghetti
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of anchovy paste or crushed into paste whole jarred anchovy
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes (or ground cayenne if serving to kids)
1/2 cups of dry white wine
1 can chopped clams with juice
1 can chopped clams no juice
1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley
(or 1/8 cup dried parsley)
grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a well salted sauce pot filled 1/4 with water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Put oil, garlic, red pepper, & anchovy paste in a large skillet. Heat on medium low. Do not brown the garlic. Mix and incorporate the anchovy paste until it dissolves into the oil.
  3. Add wine and clam juice bring to a boil for about 5 minutes until water starts to evaporate.
  4. Turn heat off, add clams mix.
  5. Let sauce sit on heat while pasta cooks.
  6. Add pasta and parsley, mix well and let stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle individual servings with parmesan.
  8. Serve with a side green salad and white wine.
NOTE: If you want to make a gourmet version of this dish use fresh clams and fresh spaghetti. (The anchovy paste is key to this recipe do not (I know it's anchovy, but trust me.) delete it.
copyright 2012
http://verygoodrecipes.com/italia
Italianfish pasta







28 comments:

  1. It looks good, and the fact you're 3rd grader loves it, makes me want to try it. I'm having a hard time seeing past the anchovies though :) Maybe if someone else made it, or when I'm not pregnant.

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  2. When you buy the anchovy as a paste it doesn't smell that fishy (at least to a non-pregnant person). But anchovy, like Worcestershire sauce has a natural flavor enhancer that is similar to MSG (but not bad for you). I just read about it in Cook's Illustrate Magazine. I find it quite fascinating.

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  3. That looks yummy. My mom used to make something similar, but only when my dad was gone, ha!

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  4. Mmmmmm! You know I loved this so much I blogged about it already a few months ago :-))

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  5. This recipe looks great! I love spaghetti and would take this over hospital food any day!

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    1. Love the message of your blog. A positive relationship with food is the only way to avoid eating disorders. Your recipes look delicious, more power to you!

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  6. I love your recipes! I am going to try your Spaghetti with Clam Sauce this week. Perfect for lent! MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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    1. Thank you. You won't be disappointed this is one of my favorite recipes.

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  7. Looks delicious! I pinned it to try out some time. :)

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  8. HiDiane, I hopped over from Tuesday's at the Table.This is one of my favorite recipes. I make it exactly like this,only you left out a splash of lemon juice and a splash of Sauv. Blanc. LOL ;) I think this is right up there with last meal too.

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    1. I do use a dry white wine, usually a Chardonnay in it. I have made it with lemon juice, but I think wine and the juice together cancel each other out. I opted for wine for the last meal.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this family story, and your wonderful family recipe. Kids do have very broad tastes sometimes, and it's wonderful your little girl loves this so much. I can certainly understand why she does. It looks and sounds scrumptious!

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    1. Thanks so much. I think one of the wonderful things about food are the memories connected with them.

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  10. Dear April,
    I just visited your blog and subscribed. Thank you for affirming that homemaking is a job and you can make a career of it.

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  11. I love, love, love spaghetti with clam sauce! My recipe is amazingly similar to yours and now I am inspired to get it on the table ASAP. I'm off to the store immediately, thanks for the inspiration. By the way, what are your feelings on calamari marinara? I would love to hear your take on this delicious dish :)

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    1. Calamari marinara is a dish I really only ate on Christmas Eve I do really like it. I don't make a ton of red sauce pasta dishes... I think I got burned out on them as a kid. We always had red sauce on everything. I'm big on garlic and olive oil based sauces.

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  12. Replies
    1. You can't go wrong with this recipe... even 3rd graders ate it.

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  13. You said you might try my red clam sauce and I'm going to try your white.... As Billy Joel would say "a bottle of red, a bottle of white" Looks very tasty!!

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    1. You are so funny. I know the song well. I think you are dating both of us.

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  14. This was very good; I fed it to my (italian) mom, who has lost weight recently due to illness, and she ate it right up, and had seconds! One suggestion: I have a low tolerance for spicy foods and although I used only 1/2 tsp of dried red pepper flakes, it was still too spicy for me. The people I made it for thought it was fabulous, but I'd just give a heads up to those with delicate taste buds to go really easy on the red pepper flakes. I'll use 1/3 teaspoon next time.

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    1. I find ground cayenne to be less irritating and easier to handle if some one is sensitive to spice.

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  15. What a great story. We make a similar dish in my family (that everyone loves). :)

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  16. Thanks Linda...it is kinda of funny to have someone's memory tied with spaghetti and clam sauce, but it works in my family.

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  17. Diane, thanks for linking this in to Food on Friday. Have a great week.

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  18. Diane, thanks for supporting Food on Friday: Garlic. Cheers

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  19. This dish was incredible and so easy to make! It definitely became an instant favorite in my house last night. :-)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it... it has always been a pleaser in my house too.

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