White Clam Linguini

Indian lore, pilgrims and giving thanks....the kids have been coming home with all kinds of interesting tales lately. In Sterling Heights, we had a real authentic teepee set up at Burr Elementary on Ryan and 18 Mile for 3 whole days. Toby even slept in it. Each day he would bring in various classes and they would sit around his campfire and listen to all his knowledge....about the Indians and survival and environmental awareness. That's cool.

The Indians taught the Pilgrims a lot. On the East coast, they showed them how to cook up some mighty tasty clams. They would build a fire in a stone-lined pit and when the stones were red hot, the glowing embers would be raked out. A layer of seaweed was placed on the stones and then they'd toss on the clams, more seawood and a heavy leather hide would go on top. This was the way to steam clams!

We can do it using a bit easier method today and make some tasty Clam Linguine, but it's fascinating to know how it used to be done. For 2 people you'll need:

16 ea.                clams, washed well
1 TB                  fresh chopped garlic
2 cups                clam broth
1/8 cup               diced shallots
1/8 cup               dry white wine
2 TB                  fresh chopped parsley
12 ounces             fresh linguine noodles, cooked
1/2 cup               fresh grated parmesan
pinch                 cayenne pepper

You can use canned clams for this recipe, but fresh is always best. I like the Littlenecks or the Cherrystones. Pour about an inch of water in a pot. Make sure you have washed your clams really well, because sandy grit in your mouth is not appealing. Bring the water to a boil then throw the clams in the pot and simmer about 10 minutes--until the clams just open.

Remove the clams from the water (reserve liquid for your broth) and set aside to let cool. Chop up cool clams. Saute garlic and shallots in a little olive oil until shallots are tranluscent. Drain off oil and add white wine. Reduce some then add the 2 cups clam broth. Add pepper and parsley and cook 2 minutes. Add your pasta and clams and stir. You can serve it like this or add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream at this point for a creamier linguine. Place on a platter and top with grated parmesan cheese.

The wine--it's gotta be cold, crisp, dry and white. Try the Fontana Candida Frascati. It's one of Italy's finest and still a bargain. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.