Cost Cutting Cuisine — Recipes–Linguine w/ Clam Sauce

RED CLAM SAUCE:   4 Servings

24  Cherrystone or Little Neck Clams,               3 Cloves garlic, minced

1/2 C Tomato Sauce                                          2 scallions, chopped

3/4 C Fresh Tomatoes, chopped                        1 small zucchini, chopped

3 TB Chopped Parsley,                                        Lemon Juice from 1/2 lemon

2 TB OLive Oil                                                    3 TB Fresh Basil, chiffonade

(rolled and sliced thinly)

LINGUINE (or other pasta):   1 lb , cooked al dente

You know how on certain days you wake up and are in the mood for a specific food that you’ve just gotta have that instant…..or at least as soon as possible.   I had one of those days today.  I woke up “needing” Linguine in Clam Sauce.   Thankfully I live about a mile from the best seafood shop in the Hamptons:  Cor-J’s in Hampton Bays.  Located on  Shinnecock Bay, about 100 feet from the Ponquogue Bridge to the Atlantic Ocean,  this shop is the first stop for the local fishermen who bring their bounty each day, whether early in the a.m. or throughout the day.  When you go there to shop, you’re standing next to the fishmongers as they clean the latest catch.  Watching them fillet flounder; striped bass, cut tuna and swordfish lets you know that everything is as fresh as can be.  So when the clammers arrive w/ their pickup trucks and unload their bushel bags of fresh clams(harvestd a few hours earlier) : little necks, cherrystone, chowder, etc. you have to order several dozen immediately.  Which I did.  For $10.00

I got home with my two dozen cherrystones, cleaned them and readied my pot of boiling water for my Linguine. (1 LB.: $1.25)  When the water boiled, I added the Linguine—cooked about 9 minutes till just al dente.  Drained, added a few TB olive oil to keep from sticking and set aside.

There are several ways to make Clam Sauce, depending on your taste.   Since I had some leftover homemade tomato sauce in the fridge I decided to make a red clam sauce for this lunch.   Now if you are handy with a clam knife, I suggest you open the clams, reserve the juice, and put them aside to add later. (If you have trouble opening this way, simply steam the clams for about 5 minutes; they will open much easier—don’t overcook at this point.)

In a large skillet, I sauteed a few cloves of garlic in olive oil; added about 1 C chopped fresh tomatoes, a small cubed zucchini,  two chopped scallions(or shallots) and cooked for about 3 minutes.  Then I added the tomato sauce, 3TB chopped parsley, 2TB fresh lemon juice,  the reserved clam juice and let come to a low boil.   Simmer for about 5 minutes then add the already cooked linguine; keep on low about 5 mins or so. Then add the  chopped clams….do not overcook, otherwise you’ll have chewy clams; cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Then add 3 TB chopped fresh Basil, adjust the seasoning(S&P) and serve on a nice platter.   What can I say?  Certainly not Yum-mee …someone already patented that one! (and we all know who that is)Suffice it that I say Mmm…mmm…mmm!

Remember, this is a very low calorie, low-fat AND low-cost meal. (With all the ingredients, the total cost came to approx: $14.00.)  For 4 people , this is $3.50 each.  Not bad for such a tasty, nutritious meal.

Epilog:  There was only ONE thing missing from this meal today(which is not usually the case):   Someone to share it with!

To your health,

Jim