Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fresh Spaghetti with Clams and Mushrooms

This is a twist on the spaghetti and clams that I had when I went to Vegas and ate at Sinatra. This is a simple dish, easy to make and doesn't require rocket science. And when your cooking does require rocket science, then step away from the kitchen, no meal should require THAT much effort.

I started out by making fresh pasta, because what else would you expect of me? If you are too lazy to click (this would probably be me), here is the recipe for the pasta:

2 1/4 c. double 00 flour
3 eggs
Olive oil (reserve- add when/if you feel your dough is drying out)
Dash of salt

Create well in your flour, add some salt around the well, add your eggs, whisk together and incorporate your flour as you are whisking. Until you can whisk no more, roll up your sleeves and begin kneading away and incorporating all of the flour, as much as it'll let you. Add a little olive oil if you feel that your dough is drying out (this is dependent on climate, warmth of your prep area, etc...) and continue to knead until your arms feel funny (8 mins). Wrap your dough in saran wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. I've found the longer it sits, the silkier my pasta. Sounds pretty sexy, no? Okay, maybe yes.

For the clams and mushrooms and sauce I used the following ingredients:

Olive oil, enough to coat your skillet
1/2 bottle of white wine 
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 tbsp. chili flakes
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bag of cremini mushroom (Trader Joe's brand)
1 can of clams (Trader Joe's brand)
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large heated skillet, add olive oil and garlic, sautee until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, which I had drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and fresh black pepper earlier, and sautee until cooked down slightly. Open your clams, drain the water, take the clams to your cutting board and give them a rough chop a few times around, add to the skillet. Let garlic, mushrooms and clams cook for a few minutes. Add the white wine, tomato paste, chili flakes and let simmer together.

Separately, bring a small pot of salted water to boil, and cook off your spaghetti (or linguine if you'd like) and add the cooked pasta directly to the skillet. I like to have the pasta water in my sauce as well. Since I used fresh pasta, it took about 3 minutes to bring my pasta to a boil and to cook off. Incorporate your spaghetti into the sauce, clams and mushrooms and serve immediately. Of course, never serve without freshly grated parmesan cheese! And I could've added basil on top, if I had it. Next time, next time.

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