Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bucatini With Clams

Remember the pipis (clams) my kids dug up in the Mornington Peninsula? Truth is, I didn't quite know how to get the pipis to spit out the sand (my aunt used nails, some say to use oatmeal, some say milk. We used steel spoons. Stupid idea; it didn't work. Any advice?) and I was concerned about the hygiene in that area although I was told later that if the water's not clean, there'll be signs up saying so. Anyway, the clams went down the rubbish chute. These ones in the pic were from Vic Mart. No sand.


This is my favorite pasta dish, if it is cooked right. The best olio pasta (with prawns) I've had was - surprise - in Perth, in this place somewhere off Hay street near the city 'park'. I'll have to find out the name of the restaurant and tell you Perth people because I hear good restaurants are hard to find in Perth.

Do you, like me, sometimes find creamy white sauce pasta too rich and tomato sauce ones too everyday? That's when I want a simple pasta with no cream or tomato sauce. Although this is an easy dish to cook, it is not easy to get it right because the ingredients must be very fresh and of the best quality. So this is where I'd compromise by adding a can of chicken stock or freshly-made stock (Howfor can thou have home-made stock on standby all the time??).


Bucatini With Clams

1 1/2 to 2 kg small clams
500g bucatini/linguine or pasta of your choice
2 T chopped garlic
1 brown onion, chopped
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 t dried oregano or basil
1 to 2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
dried chili flakes (optional)
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 T butter

1. Bring to boil a large pot of salted water and boil the pasta. When the centre of the linguine still has a small white spot when you break it off, switch off the fire and let it sit in the water for 2 minutes,covered, then check again. There should be no more white uncooked dough. This is the way I cook my pasta but you can do it your way.Drain and put pasta back into the pot and add the butter (omit if health conscious). Mix well and keep warm in the pot.

2. Put 2T extra virgin olive oil into a large skillet, add 1 T garlic and fry till soft, then add the clams. Now add the wine and cover. When it starts to boil, remove the cover and cook at high heat for 10 minutes to reduce the water. When all the shells have opened (discard those that aren't), dish out (including the juice) into a bowl.

3. In a clean skillet, add 2 T x-virgin oil and fry the 1 T garlic and the onions till soft, then add the clams and chicken stock, the basil/oregano, bring it to a boil and let simmer a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Finally add the parsley and toss well. Sprinkle with dried chili flakes if like. Serve hot with shaved parmesan on the side.


Precious Pea said...

You threw all the pipis away?? Awww...i was told that you can get rid of the sand by soaking it in salt water.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

preciousp: was hard to let go but i did bc they were starting to smell. hey, a friend called me up just to warn me about the snakes on your latest post. she got a fright too!

Kelly Siew said...

My grandma told me to soak them overnight in salt water too. They will spit the sand out.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

kelly: thanx for d tip; ur grandma is right bc i just read d same tip in a cook book. hey, Yi told me about u - hot girl who's a doctor to boot. way to go girl!

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