This recipe is exciting to me on so many levels. A fancy feeling but incredibly easy shellfish treat, a new pasta recipe made with cassava flour, and buttery smells drifting through my house at some seriously unforgettable levels. It’s a happy day in the HG&M household.
Growing up, I was convinced I was allergic to shellfish… I’d just stare and oogle and ahh at all the incredible bowls of mollusk goodness smothering the tables beside me, refusing to dabble in the fun. With wafting aromas of butter, garlic, and lemon, I’d drool from the sidelines, half happily staying far far away, half tempted to disregard all potential health hazards and jump right in. My family thought I was nuts… they pretty much lived on this stuff. Eh, I kinda was. Anyway, turns out all is good, so I really just tortured myself for a good thirty or so years of life for no apparent reason it seems. Silly child.
So now… ♬ A whole new world. ♬
I was in Las Vegas last weekend visiting some family (normal people actually live in that crazy place too, who knew). We went out to dinner on the strip my last night there… some French bistro across from the Bellagio. Anyway, my fam ordered a heap of steamed mussels. I went home the next day dreaming of those steamy buttery garlicky smells. Getting used to that mussel texture is, moving a bit slowly, but that broth…. OH, that broth.
So when Whole Foods told me that this Friday’s One Day Sale item is wine (hey, that’s tomorrow!), I knew exactly what I wanted to make. A white wine, garlic, and butter (or ghee, ’cause everything is ghee with me) smothered steamed clam dish, served over some homemade linguini. Boo. Ya. Delicious. And you know I called for advice on this bad boy? Yep, that mom of mine, who for years looked at me suspiciously as I turned down bowl after bowl of this very dish. Her mother (my yiayia) made this all the time, as did she (it’s family tradition to add a bay leaf in there- you may have questioned that one on the ingredients list, but don’t). Finally, my turn has come. Finally.
You don’t need pasta to make this delicious; it does that all on its own. A few fresh lemon wedges though, along with a little drizzle of ghee or butter and a ripped hunk of crusty sourdough bread… oh me, oh my. ♥
makes two entrées, or appetizers for four
approx 1.5 lb clams (littleneck work well)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced shallot
1/2 white wine (sauvignon blanc works well)
1 cup clam juice (sub water if needed)
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp ghee or butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
to serve: lemon wedges, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, and optional pasta and/or sourdough bread
First and foremost, let’s start with a little Cooking with Wine 101
The two most important steps:
1- Pour yourself a glass, before anything else.
2- Buy double, especially when on sale, like all wine at Whole Foods tomorrow… stock up time ♥
Now that that’s settled…
Finley mince the garlic and shallot
Chop parsley, and get the wine and clam juice ready to go
Add the olive oil, garlic, and shallot to a large pot (one with a lid) over medium heat
Cook for a few minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning, until fragrant and soft
Meanwhile, clean the clams- rinse well to get rid of any crud or grime
Add the wine, clam juice, bay leaf, and clams to the pot
(These clams were particularly large- most littlenecks are well, little) 🙂
Cover, turn heat to medium-high, and steam
them for approx 5-7 minutes, until all clams have opened
(If any do not open, discard them)
Add parsley and ghee
Stir to mix
Serve with a lemon wedge, some crushed red pepper if desired (and/or hot sauce),
and a little sprinkle of parsley… for a real buttery touch,
add another little drizzle of ghee on there 😉
For an entrée, serve over linguini or other fave pasta,
along with a hunk of your favorite crusty bread to sop up all that tasty broth with too ♥
(See my homemade pasta recipe HERE… cassava optional!)