Wednesday, June 22, 2016

White Clam Sauce

Hunter Man has loved Linguine with White Clam Sauce forever.  But, we rarely find ourselves at restaurants that have it on their menu.

One weekend, after we had gone out to dinner, he said he sure wished he could have some really good Linguine with White Clam Sauce.  So, I decided to come up my own recipe for it.  I did a lot of research and combined several recipes together and changed the things that I knew I would not like to have in it.   The first time I made it, I didn't know whether he would like it or not, but he really did.  I love it, too. Restaurant versions have clams in shells on it, but my recipe used canned, minced clams. His favorite pasta is Angel Hair Pasta so we usually have it with that instead of linguine.

Then, last summer we went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the 4th of July and ate at a great little Italian Restaurant located on the main highway into Jackson on the south end.  I wish I could remember what it was called so that I could give them some credit. Their menu actually had Linguine with White Clam Sauce on and Hunter Man immediately said that is what he was going to order. When it was served, we were surprised to see that the sauce was topped with roasted tomatoes.  I would have never thought of adding those to this dish, but they added such a wonderful flavor to it!.

To make my own roasted tomatoes, I line a baking sheet with foil, place tomato pieces on it, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle them with Mrs. Dash garlic and then place the baking sheet in the oven on 200 degrees until the tomatoes start to shrivel up like dried tomatoes.  This could take two hours or more--you just have to keep checking them. Then, I put them in a freezer bag and defrost them whenever I need some.  Last summer, I used whatever tomatoes came off of our garden plants--Romas, little yellow pear tomatoes, etc.  Whenever I have tomatoes that we aren't going to use fast enough, I roast them!  The house smells so good while they are roasting.

I decided to make Angel Hair Pasta with White Clam Sauce as a Father's Day dinner this year.

Here is the recipe.   My picture does not do it justice, but trust me--it is good!

(Remember:  I am not a professional cook or chef or anything like it, so don't hate me for using dried herbs and for not using real garlic, etc.).


Prepare Angel Hair Pasta according to package directions, depending on how many people you are cooking for.

This clam sauce recipe should serve about 4 people.  We love it so much that by the time we are done eating it, we only have about 1 serving left.

1/4 c butter
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
10 oz sliced, fresh mushrooms
4 cans minced clams with juice (tuna fish sized cans)
1 T parsley flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1//2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 pinches red pepper flakes
1/4 c cooking wine
4 T lemon juice
1/4 c water mixed with 2 T cornstarch
1/4 c Parmesan cheese.
1 cup heavy cream

Over medium heat, melt butter.  Add olive oil.  Saute the mushrooms with the garlic paste until the mushrooms are tender.

Stir in clams, juice, and herbs.  Then, stir with  a whisk to incorporate the clam juice and the butter/oil. You will know that you have stirred it enough when there is no separation of the liquid and the oil. When the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium low and add the cooking wine and lemon juice.  Again, stir with the whisk to make sure that the liquid does not separate from the oil. Add the water/cornstarch mixture and stir until it begins to thicken.  Reduce the heat to low and add the Parmesan cheese and cream.  Let it simmer for just a few minutes.

At this point, you made need to do some tweaking.  The sauce might get too thick and you may need to add some water or milk to thin it.  Also, make sure you taste it and decide whether it needs a little bit more garlic, Parmesan cheese, or oregano.  My favorite part of making this sauce is taste-testing it!

Serve over the prepared Angel Hair Pasta and enjoy!


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