Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Clams & Linguini (Pasta)

Discover the gentle taste of clams married with pasta... Without a doubt, fresh clams are the best! Use every bit of clam juice for a fantastic taste!

My dad's biggest adventure was going after mushrooms! But the mushroom season is short.

You can go clamming almost anytime...

Espo, my brothers and I love to go clamming! There is nothing in the world that compares to the taste of a fresh, raw "cherry stones" plucked out of the ocean! The smaller "cherry stones" are eaten raw, right out of the shell. (Add some lemon and cocktail sauce, and you are in heaven!)

The bigger clams (quahogs) are used for making clam fritters, baked stuffed clams or my favorite:

Clams and Liguini


1 lb. of cooked linguini (or your favorite pasta)
2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic minced (or more)
10-12 fresh shucked, clams (quahogs), or 1-2 cans of canned minced clams and "juice" (the liquid from the can).
1/2 Cup of white wine
1 Tablespoon fresh basil
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
salt, pepper, spices to taste

1. Add garlic and olive oil to a pan. Put on low heat. Add calms.
2. Cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes until clams are done. Add wine and spices.
3. Pour over cooked linguini.
4. For red sauce, add a cup of basic red sauce.
5. This dish tastes best with fresh clams. Make sure the clam shells are tightly closed when you purchase the clams. Refrigerate immediately!(If the clam shells are opened, they are not fresh. Do not use!) Shuck or steam the clams to open, then add clams and liquid to the sauce.
6. If you use fresh clams, save the shells for making baked, stuffed clams.

Tips: (includes how to open clams!)

If you are using fresh or canned clams, make sure you include the liquid. It is very tasty "clam juice!"You can also drink the juice, for a refreshing treat!(My dad would tell you: "Use the clam juice!That is the best part!")

Shucking clams can be difficult and dangerous, if you don't have a clam knife! (A clam knife is pictured below.) Be careful!


  • The traditional method of opening clams is to hold the clam in your hand and using a clam knife with pressure, open the clam from the front by sliding the clam knife between the two shells. When the the knife is at the hinge, twist the blade. You want to try to hold the clam horizontally so you don't spill the juice. In any event, always open clams over a bowl, to recover the precious juice!
  • Try opening the clams from the back of the shell. Look for the rounded points at the back of the shell. Position the clam knife between these points. Twist the clam knife up and down, to pry open the shell. When you have separated the shells a little, slide the clam knife in between the shells and around to the front of the clam. Then using the traditional method, work the knife toward the "hinge" of the clam. Use a slight twisting as you move the knife. You want to try to sever the muscle that holds the clam together. You also want to save as much "juice as possible". Be careful, and be patient! It will take a little practice, but you will get it!
  • If the clam is really tight, you may have to wait a while for it to "relax." If you will be cooking the clams, try the next tip for easy opening!
  • Having a difficult time opening the clams?Put them in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. You will not only be able to save all of the juice but they will open right up for you!
    Try to use fresh parsley and fresh basil for a wonderful taste!

Clams Everywhere,

Albert Grande
Make Pasta, Be Happy

Here is my recommendation for cooking clams:

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