Saturday, August 2, 2008

Clams & Italian Sausage Pasta

I originally went into the fish store to buy the the cod for this dish. But, I got distracted by clams in the corner of the store. In an almost trance-like state, I forgot about the cod and started to select clams, deciding that tonight would be the night that I'd make shellfish for the first time. I have been thinking about making some sort of shellfish since I started foodblogging.

After spending some time to select the closed clams whose shells were not cracked, my bags full of market produce (you can see the full load here) began to get heavy and my senses came back to me. I paid for the cod and clams and quickly left the store before the urge to buy more fish came back.

I've had Proud Italian Cook's Oven Baked Clams in my mind as inspiration for quite a while now. Marie over at Proud Italian Cook has a wonderful blog where she features a variety of delicious looking (you guessed it) Italian food. Go check her out - you won't regret it!

Today's recipe is inspired by Proud Italian Cook. But, since it's mainly an original recipe, I am entering this recipe in Lore at Culinarty's Original Recipe Monthly Roundup. Isn't that the way most original recipes come about? You see other recipes that you like and then modify them to your own specific tastes.


15 clams ( 2 lbs)- should have used less for 2 people
3 hot Italian sausages (will try chorizo next time)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic clove
Handful of fresh basil and Italian oregano
Red pepper flakes
1/3 cup of white wine
a couple handfulls of cherry tomatoes
1 large can of diced tomatoes
Lots of fresh ground pepper

Clean your clams. Here are some instructions. I would even soak the clams for longer - over an hour. Change the water every 20 minutes or so. Any other tips are welcome!

When the clams are relatively close to being clean (or when they are clean), start frying your Italian sausage. As I said, above, I would probably try a drier sausage, like chorizo, next time. The sausage was good - but the texture was more ground than sliced.

While the sausage is cooking, add desired amount of garlic. I love garlic - so I use 4-5 fair-sized pieces, minced. Start boiling your water for the pasta. When the sausage is ready, take it out of the frying pan. Deglaze the pan with some white wine. Let it reduce for a minute or so and then add diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper (as desired). Add your pasta to the boiling water. Then add the clams to the moderately boiling tomato-wine base.

When the clams are close to being fully open, add the meat back to the mixture. Add basil, oregano and any other desired seasoning.

When clams do open, combine with your cooked pasta and plate right away.

Verdict - I really enjoyed this dish but would make some changes for next time. I would probably use smaller or fewer clams. I also rushed the cleaning of the clams and found a couple of gritty pieces (not my favourite texture in the world). As I mentioned, I would also try chorizo instead of hot Italian sausage.

But, I very much enjoyed the base of the sauce. A basic tomato, wine and basil base is very satisfying. Actually, I enjoyed the whole dish (so did R), but there's room for improvement. StumbleUpon


Ivy said...

Yummy clams and sausages, in a pasta dish, delicious. Sounds like a great dish.

Elra said...

Oh how much I love seafood pasta. Your recipe sound so delice, especialy with sausages.

JillyB said...

What a great idea to add a spicy sausage to the clams. I'll be trying this next time.

Adam said...

Seafood pasta is very much a delicious classic... but with sausage? I think you hit that one out of the park. That's a great idea with the spice, and simple yet very effective sauce. Great entry for the roundup :) Good source of PROTEIN too... did someone do their reading :)

noble pig said...

I love the sausage in the clams move. That sounds really good.

That Girl said...

I'm totally afraid of clams since I'm allergic to mussels. Although the hubs keeps pointing out that I have no problem eating clam chowder.

Lore said...

Looks delicious and I think it could gather clam and sausage fans at the same table :)
Thanks for sending it my way!

Jack said...

Now that looks like my kind of pasta. Bursting with savoury, herby, fishy, sausagey goodness!

glamah16 said...

I love clams and pasta. No one else around me does. Your inspirining me to make one of my soilitary treats while the man is away.

Grace said...

i think clams are pretty, but i'm too squeamish to eat em. you'd better believe i'll take some sausage though!

OhioMom said...

Yummy dish!

Please stop by my blog for your award.

melissa said...

I definitely dig this. Always wanted to make pasta with clams, I don't what the heck I'm waiting for. Thanks for giving tips about cleaning the clams.

Also, chorizo sounds like a good idea. I see many recipes with mussels/clams and chorizo and it always struck me as brilliant.

Bunny said...

this looks good to me and i don't even eat clams! Great idea!! i bet my husband would go nuts eating this. the sauce really sounds good!

Beth said...

I love shellfish but never really cook it at home - Im scared!! Will have t overcome fear and try this - I love sausages - great combo!

Rosie said...

What scrummy clams and sausages & pasta! Sounds such a wonderful dish :)

Rosie x

Kevin said...

That looks like a really tasty pasta dish.

Dee said...

One of my favourite combinations. It's strange how sausage and bacon really complement seafood, isn't it?

Elle said...

Looks fantastic! Clams/mussels are still something that make me nervous. Cooking them, anyway, not eating them, hehe. I need to get over it and just cook some!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Everything looks wonderful here! You did a great job! A little trick I learned from Lydia is to throw some corn meal in your water while soaking your clams, it actually draws out the grit, it really does work! Chorizo would be great with this too. Thanks so much for the "link love!" :)

Muenchen Restaurant said...

Italian food has been given a bad reputation. With the advent of Atkins many former Italian food fans have steered clear of the food because of the pasta that is being used. However, the idea that pastas going to make you fat is pretty much unfounded. A diet of Italian food, especially from the Mediterranean areas is actually very healthy and will keep you looking and feeling great as long as you know which Italian foods to eat and how to prepare them.