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SpaghettiWestern

Simple everyday pasta sauces

39 posts in this topic

Anchovies, garlic & extra virgin olive oil.  A bit of crushed red pepper or parsley, if I'm feeling fancy.

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Some high quality canned or jarred baby clams is another possibility.

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If you're able to get fresh clams, you can whip up spaghetti con vongole in minutes. Canned is okay but it's not quite the same.

Warm some olive oil in a pot, add a crushed garlic clove and an anchovy fillet. When the anchovy has disintegrated, add the clams and a glug of white wine. The traditional recipe omits the wine but I sometimes include it depending on feel. Cover the pot and turn it down to medium-low. Steam until the clams pop open. Discard any that don't. Strain the liquid in the pot and set the strained liquid aside.

Prepare your dried pasta (i.e., bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add your dried pasta and cook until al dente).

Transfer the clams to a bowl and shuck them, making sure to reserve the clam juices. You can chop them if you like, or leave them whole. Warm some olive oil in a pan. Add the clams, clam juices and the reserved liquid from when you steamed the clams. Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add copious handfuls of chopped Italian parsley. Cook for 1-2 more minutes. Ideally your pasta should be done by now. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add the cooked, drained pasta to the pan with the clams. Toss. If the pasta seems too dry, add a little pasta cooking liquid. How much depends on whether you like the sauce "brothy". Taste for salt and pepper, then serve at once.

If you're using canned clams, you could start by making a battuto of chopped garlic, olive oil and chopped Italian parsley. Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until it turns a pale gold, then add the parsley. Cook for 1 more minute, then add your chopped clams and clam juices. The sauce is done when the clams are heated through. Taste for salt and pepper, then combine with the pasta as directed above.

For some people, this entire procedure is a "production", but to me, it's pretty simple and takes about 40 minutes from beginning to end. Making bolognese is complicated by comparison. Depends on your point of view I suppose.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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I never have heavy cream around.  You need a certain level of fat in the cream so it doesnt split if you use a bit of dry white wine (reduced) in

 

the sauce  which i do. I add other things from time to time, garlic basil etc  one thing there always is around here:  something dry w a cork.

 

Ive found that 'plain vanilla' goat cheese, the kind TJ's has, keeps for some time in the refrig.

 

i take about an inch off this log, mash it up w milk if I have it or just a little water to make a smooth fairly thick paste.

 

I use that instead of heavy cream  works fine.   it does have sour notes you may not care for.  Im partial to tart.

 

I love pasta w  a decent hint of creamy-ness.  peas, mushrooms go well here too.


Edited by rotuts (log)

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If you're able to get fresh clams, you can whip up spaghetti con vongole in minutes. Canned is okay but it's not quite the same.Warm some olive oil in a pot, add a crushed garlic clove and an anchovy fillet. When the anchovy has disintegrated, add the clams and a glug of white wine. The traditional recipe omits the wine but I sometimes include it depending on feel. Cover the pot and turn it down to medium-low. Steam until the clams pop open. Discard any that don't. Strain the liquid in the pot and set the strained liquid aside.Prepare your dried pasta (i.e., bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add your dried pasta and cook until al dente).Transfer the clams to a bowl and shuck them, making sure to reserve the clam juices. You can chop them if you like, or leave them whole. Warm some olive oil in a pan. Add the clams, clam juices and the reserved liquid from when you steamed the clams. Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add copious handfuls of chopped Italian parsley. Cook for 1-2 more minutes. Ideally your pasta should be done by now. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add the cooked, drained pasta to the pan with the clams. Toss. If the pasta seems too dry, add a little pasta cooking liquid. How much depends on whether you like the sauce "brothy". Taste for salt and pepper, then serve at once.If you're using canned clams, you could start by making a battuto of chopped garlic, olive oil and chopped Italian parsley. Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until it turns a pale gold, then add the parsley. Cook for 1 more minute, then add your chopped clams and clam juices. The sauce is done when the clams are heated through. Taste for salt and pepper, then combine with the pasta as directed above.For some people, this entire procedure is a "production", but to me, it's pretty simple and takes about 40 minutes from beginning to end. Making bolognese is complicated by comparison. Depends on your point of view I suppose.

I've always wanted to try pasta with clams but obtaining fresh clams is a bit challenging. The possibility of using canned clams brings it back into thre realm of possibility. I'm sure it falls short of perfection but sometimes what's possible must trump what's perfect. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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please try this.  taste a bit of the 'broth' they are in first and then decide if you want to rinse them.

 

garlic helps  as does fresh chopped parsley  either kind based on your personal pref.s

 

if there is in the GTA a 'good' Italian shop, that makes there own pasta and sauces, some of them make 'clam sauce' and freeze it

 

on Long Island when I lived and suffered there, there was a place like this on one of the upper 'parkways'

 

their frozen clam sauce was to die for.  not red.  white.

 

it was toward NYC.  from where i lived.  if you jugged the traffic correctly, it was an OK trip.

 

I wish I had that stuff now.


Edited by rotuts (log)

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You can see there's a pattern to most of the ideas that have been presented thus far.

The Italian pasta sauce pantry is pretty basic: olive oil, garlic, onions, anchovies, herbs (parsley, mint, oregano, rosemary, basil). tomatoes for tomato-based sauces. cream and butter. wine (either white or red). capers. olives. oil-packed tuna. wine vinegar.

To that, I'd add breadcrumbs preferably made from stale bread and fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. A hit of anchovy if you want, but plain is all right. Use as you would cheese.

I haven't even touched slightly more complicated preps, ones that involve fresh vegetables and occasionally, fruit. Things like pasta con le zucchine. Or pasta e piselli. Or pasta e melone.

Then, there are meat-based sauces, some of which are not as complicated as you might think.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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""  oil-packed tuna ""

 

Yum. thanks for the reminder.  Ill look into a lottery ticket today   :huh:

 

I had somewhere in the past a book by AdA Boni.  its of course wandered off  it might be this book :

 

http://www.amazon.com/Italian-Regional-Cooking-Ada-Boni/dp/0517693496

 

but perhaps not.

 

this one looks more like it, perhaps the same book:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Italian-Regional-Cooking-Ada-Boni/dp/0517023857/ref=sr_1_1/180-4140574-4325938?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395951409&sr=1-1&keywords=ada+boni

 

it had  hundreds of 'pasta' Rx's in it.  few w red sauce.  I used to marvel at the dishes that were in it.

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*shrug*

I don't know where you are in Boston, but it doesn't cost much I don't think.

Costs something like $2-$3 at Trader Joe's, and I don't even shop there.

I like the Silver Spoon book myself, for ideas. There's one that they made that just has pasta recipes.

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I have the Silver Spoon  thanks for the reminder

 

Ill take a peek at TJ's

 

3 $$ is a bit more than 25 cents a can    :huh:

 

at least its bit less than the Plonk I routinely get there

 

if you are a student of exceptional cookbooks:

 

look into this used:  Frog Commissary Cookbook :

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=frog+commissary+cookbook&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

 

look at Powells etc  abe books

 

its the best niche cookbook Ive ever seen.

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I usually don't cook from cookbooks.

I am really picky about cookbooks. really is probably the wrong word. "EXTREMELY" is big bold neon letters on the Hollywood Hills-kind of picky.

I have Artusi's, which I use as a reference work and occasionally for ideas. Marcella's "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking". Lynne Rossetto Kasper's "The Splendid Table". There are a few others, including one of Mario B's which a roommate gave to me when I was ... ahem, less enlightened.

Unless it's something I've never made before, I usually don't bother with cookbooks. Some Italian techniques, once you learn one, you can apply it to a wide range of dishes.

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SobaAddict70:

Chopped clams. Oh, that's a great idea because the canned ones can be a little tough. We don't has ready access to fresh clams so I have to rely on good quality bottled or canned clams...usually the bottled ones are better. Thanks.

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