I prepared #61 on a Saturday night by myself. Yes, by myself. Does that seem sad–me staying home and cooking alone on date night? I hope not. I haven’t been making as many Dinner is Served! meals as I would like due to Cleveland being all sorts of busy with his job. So on Saturday night I said: Screw it! I’m making one anyway! I have to cook! I have to eat! I have to blog! Besides, I wasn’t alone. I had Brian.
So I opened a bottle of Pinot Grigio, put on some Rhythm Sweet & Hot and got to some good ol’ Italian cooking.
I tried a new Pinot Grigio from California called Simply Naked. It is unoaked, meaning that it isn’t aged in an oak barrel (duh). I assume that it’s instead done in a metal-type vat. Cleve and I took a tour of the Williamsburg Winery, outside of historic Williamsburg (duh), and they used metal as well for most of their wines. I liked the Williamsburg Governor’s White a lot, and I liked the Simply Naked as well. Light, fruity, sprightly. As drinkable as a vinho verde, but without the touch of carbonation. It’s a winner. Sadly, it has a retail price of over $10. And I rarely buy wine that is over $10 unless it’s a magnum. I am cheap boozy floozy.
So anyway, since it was just me, I scaled back the recipe. I used 2 cans of clams instead of 3 and adjusted the other components accordingly. I also, like in some of my other adaptations, kept the spice/flavoring levels the same while decreasing the amount of main ingredients.
This was the resulting recipe:
- 4 tbsp shallots
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz)
- 2 cans clams, drained (6.5 oz)
- reserved clam broth + water to equal 1.5 cups
- 1/2 lb linguini (this still made a butt load of linguini)
My sauce was extra-garlicky, however, because I had a very small amount of choped garlic left in my jar of chopped garlic so I just used it all. It probably was closer to 4 cloves of garlic. Oh, well. I like garlic and it was just me so my breath wasn’t going to offend anyone. I don’t think Brian cares. OK, I know that Brian doesn’t care. He just tolerates me.
This was a very quick and easy meal. Aside from the amount adjustments above, I just followed the directions. #61 was child’s play. The only concern I had is that when I added the 1.5 cup of clam juice, the sauce became very soupy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a soupy sauce. I remedied this buy boiling the hell out of it in an attempt to evaporate some of the liquid. I am happy to say that this worked to a certain degree and the result was a more consolidated, but not heavy, sauce.
For the antipasto salad I merely plated a jar of Giardiniera, a few marinated artichokes, and a selection of olives, mushrooms, and hot peppers from the olive bar at Safeway. I finished with a garnish of parsley. I thought it was pretty.
So there you have it, #61 Linguine with Clam Sauce.
Dinner is Served!
I haven’t done it in a while, so here is the side by side:
Pretty good, eh? I impressed myself.
One big difference, however. I didn’t make the dessert. Although I bought frozen blueberries at Safeway and had the ingredients to make a custard, it was just me and I didn’t want to go through the hassle. And anyway, I was full from all that linguini.
The verdict: this was delicious, which was surprising to me because my mum would occasionally make pasta with white clam sauce and I detested it. Which is odd considering that I would order the raw bar platter at a seafood restaurant and was able to take down a 1.5 steamed lobster at the age of 6. I think that she may have been using the Progresso sauce from a can. Or maybe it was the addition of the tomatoes in this version that made it better. Regardless, this was a light, clean sauce that, although prepared with mostly canned ingredients, tasted very fresh. Not bad. Not bad at all. A small victory.
Also, just because I mentioned him, here is some Brian. He was, after all, my hot Saturday night date.