Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cappellini with White Clam Sauce

Boyfriend asks me to make this dish for him All. The. Time.  I think its his comfort food.  I've tried it many different ways - different types of sauce, different types of pasta, different veggies or no veggies at all....

I think this version was my favorite so far.  Boyfriend wasn't a huge fan of the cauliflower, but overall really enjoyed it.

8 oz Cappellini (aka half a package of angel hair - use whatever you like except shells, those were a disaster)
2 cans clams (I used both canned and fresh, but using just the cans works fine)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1/2 C dry white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 C frozen peas
1/4 C greek yogurt
2-3 tbsps light cream
1-2 tbsps chopped parsley
1/4C shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

*Note: all my measurements are actually guess-timates, I seriously never measure anything...

1. Add butter and olive oil to pan over medium heat.
2. Add onions and saute until starting to get soft (4min?) then add garlic and red pepper flakes (another 2-3min).
3. Add white wine and the liquid from one of the cans of clams.  Bring to a simmer and reduce by half.  If you're using live clams add them here.  Make sure none of them are open already (that means they're dead and bad eats).  Once the clams fully open in the cooking liquid remove them from the pan.  You don't want to over-cook them!
4. If you're using cappellini pasta, start it in salted boiling water at this stage.  It cooks so fast that by the time the sauce is done it will be ready.  If using a different pasta you'll probably need to start it earlier.
5. Add the clams (from the cans and the cooked live ones), frozen peas, yogurt and cream to the sauce and turn the heat to medium-low.  Cook for 2min or so.

*can you see my cauliflower florets in there?*

4. Drain the pasta but keep about a cup of the starchy pasta water in case you have to mess with your sauce.  Add the pasta, chopped parsley, 3 tbsps of the Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook another 2-ish minutes.
5. Serve with a sprinkling of Parm and parsley, and some good bread for dipping.

*Troubleshooting: if your sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta cooking water.  If its too thin, add a slurry of cornstarch and water.

A good Chardonnay would have been nice with the richness of this dish, unfortunately, I never buy Chards anymore so I didn't have any on hand.  Oh well.  Next time.  Because seriously, Boyfriend asks me to make this All. The. Time :)

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