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Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Feast Fit for a Son -- Pasta with Clams, Corn, and Smoked Sausage

Recently our older son, Frank, stopped by for lunch. Now that he has moved across town and works long hours, we don't see him often enough. It was great to share a meal and catch up.

The day was sunny and warm so we had lunch on the deck. Everything was quick and easy-to-make: a big bowl of cracked green olives, romaine lettuce with avocado and homemade croutons, grilled fillet mignon, and dessert of ice cold Valencia orange slices. The main course was something special: pasta, fresh clams, corn, and smoked sausage in a butter sauce.

Pasta with Clams, Corn, and Smoked Sausage

Finding fresh clams isn't all that easy. Luckily for us Carlsbad Aquafarm sells their shellfish at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market Wednesdays and Saturdays. The corn came from a local farmer at the Palisades Farmer's Market. The smoked sausage was a treat picked up at a Russian market in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach.

Yield 4 servings
Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

4 pounds live clams, washed
1 pound smoked sausage, finely chopped
2 ears corn, husks, silks, and kernels removed
4 garlic cloves, skins removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onions, leeks, or shallots
1 cup Italian parsley, washed, mostly leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pasta
Sea salt and pepper

Method

Put the clams in a pot with 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook on high heat 5 minutes. Remove and set aside all the clams that have opened. Return the pot to the heat and boil another 5 minutes. Continue until all the clams have opened. After a total of 15 minutes, discard any clams that haven't opened.

Reserve all the clam liquid, between 1-2 cups.

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta. Save 1 cup of the pasta water. Return the cooked pasta to the pot, drizzle with olive oil, toss and set aside.

In a large frying or chef's pan, saute the sausage, corn, garlic, onions, and parsley in olive oil, seasoned with black pepper until lightly browned. Use 1/2 cup of the pasta water to deglaze the pan. Add the sweet butter and clam broth, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the cooked clams and pasta. Toss with the sauce and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir frequently to coat the clams and pasta with the sauce.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper. If more liquid is needed, use the remaining pasta water.

Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

That's my kind of meal when I am alone. That and a glass of wine and a chick movie ! Looks perfect!