454. Blushing Spaghetti Vongole (Jamie's Comfort Food, page 180)
I've never eaten or bought clams before. I sourced them fresh at Sobey's for about twice the price of mussels, but I decided what the heck, I deserve a treat! So I picked up a pound, along with a package of GoGoQuinoa spaghetti. I also stopped at the liquor store and bought two single-serving bottles of wine, one white and one red. After my son vacated the kitchen (complaining all the while about the smell of the raw clams, which was non-existant), I started cooking. First up, I boiled the spaghetti in salted water.
Jamie suggests that you have all your ingredients chopped and ready to go prior to starting, so I quickly chopped garlic, dried chile, parsley stalks, and tomato. I put the parsley leaves aside until later. After the pasta had been boiling for about 5 minutes, I put a large pan over a high heat and added a lug of olive oil. I went in with the chopped veggies, washed clams and two tablespoons of tomato paste. I mixed everything together, added a splash of each type of wine, and covered the pan with a lid to let the clams cook.
I found the clams very slow, unlike mussels which open quite quickly. I took the lid off when a few had popped, to let the alcohol evaporate, but kept the heat high. I added a few scoops of pasta water so that things didn't get too dry, but the clams were really being stubborn. Once the spaghetti was ready, I drained it and added it to the sauce. I ended up throwing away at least 10 clams, because they just wouldn't open. I was quite disappointed....that was close to half of them. I have to think they weren't very fresh. I added the parsley leaves and served the pasta up into bowls.
The sauce was tasty, but I would have liked a higher seafood to pasta ratio. The next time, I'll make this dish with mussels. I don't know where the clams came from, but the mussels I get are generally from PEI. Perhaps that's the difference in quality. Live and learn. Oh to live closer to the sea...