Since living with us temporarily, my son-in-law has been frequenting Atlantic Fishery in Point Pleasant, NJ. With a decline in seafood sales by restaurants, prices have dropped. We’ve enjoyed shrimp, scallops, tuna and mahi mahi. This past weekend he purchased small clams and mussels. For the clams, I turned to the cook book, “Naples at Table,” by Arthur Schwartz. I followed his recipe for Sauté of Clams or Mussels (Sauté (Soté) di Congolese o Cozze). The recipe has few ingredients, so make sure they’re fresh. Give your shellfish, a quick soak to release any sand.
You’ll need extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, hot red pepper flakes or a piece of a whole, fresh hot pepper, clams (or mussels) and fresh parsley. I sautéed the garlic and red pepper flakes until the oil was infused with the flavors. Next, I added the clams in one layer in my LeCreuset Braiser. In less than five minutes the clams were done. Once my pasta was al denté, I tossed the clams on top and then added the fresh minced parsley. You can also save some of the pasta water to add to the sauce if the clams don’t release enough liquid.
This was the first time I made, and had, linguine with white clam sauce. It was light, flavorful and delicious. I normally make a red sauce for my clam sauce using canned minced clams. This was a game changer. Also, the clams didn’t need to be shucked before using on top of pasta. Everyone devoured the pasta. I also made two pounds of mussels in red sauce. I doctored up a jar of store bought sauce by sautéing sliced garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil before adding the marinara sauce. Lots of Italian bread was used to soak up the sauce.
Now for dessert, how about some ice cream? I occasionally purchase a small container of Talenti Gelato. Sometimes I share with my husband or sometimes I dig in with a spoon during the day. Keeping ice cream in the house is too much of a temptation for me. However, the recipe for in the May 9th column of “At Home” from The New York Times, in which you can make ice cream in a 16 ounce mason jar sounded very appealing. The recipe has just three ingredients, 1 cup of heavy cream, pinch of salt, 1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. The reason for such a large jar is that you have to shake the ingredients for approximately 5 minutes or until doubled in volume. Once you have the mixture shaken, transfer it to a shallow, wide mouth container for easier scooping. The mixture is placed in the freezer for a minimum of three hours. It is rich, smooth and satisfies your craving for ice cream. You can add fruit or berries for something tasty. Perhaps the next time I’ll some cocoa powder and add a bit more sugar to make chocolate ice cream. With a little planning you have dessert for one to either devour in one seating or over several nights. Enjoy.
Sauté (Soté) di Vongole o Cozze
Sauté of Clams or Mussels
Schwartz, Arthur, Naples at Table, New, York, NY
Harper Collins 1998
Serves: 3 to 4 people
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, light smashed, or cut in half, or thickly sliced
1/8 teaspoon or more hot red pepper flakes, or a piece of whole, fresh hot pepper
3 to 4 pounds clams or mussels, cleaned well
3 tablespoons finely cut parsley
This recipe is the base for making Linguine alle Vongole
Linguine, Spaghetti o Vermicelli alle Vongole
Pasta with Clam Sauce
1 recipe Saute di Vongole
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces thin or regular linguine or spaghetti
Shaved Asparagus Frittata
from The Smitten Kitchen food blog, Deb Perelman
Serves 6 in dinner-sized wedges, presuming a salad or something else on the side.
Prep: approximately 10 minutes to prep a
Cook: approximately 10 minutes
1/2 pound asparagus, cleaned, not trimmed
2 ounces thinly sliced proscuitto (optional, see Note up top)
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (to taste)
Prepare the asparagus: No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbons away from the tough end (and your hand) right through the soft tip. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling.
[As you get to the bottom of your stalk, you might find that the raised edge of your peeler is keeping the blade from shaving the asparagus as thin as you’d like. For this, I move the asparagus to the edge of the cutting board with the peeler blade half-off so you can get closer. Just be careful not to shave your cutting board.]
Crisp the proscuitto: If you’re using the proscuitto, heat the 12-inch ovenproof skillet you’ll use for the final frittata over medium heat. Lay slices in a single layer (will need to do this in two batches) and cook them until lightly brown underneath and curling. Flip them for another 20 to 30 seconds then transfer them to paper towels to blot off the extra oil and cool. Repeat with remaining proscuitto. You’ll use the pan again in a minute.
Heat your broiler.
Vigorously beat your eggs with the milk or cream, plus salt and pepper until well-combined. Stir in scallions and crumble in crisp proscuitto, if using. Gently add asparagus peels, just swishing the egg mixture over them.
Heat your skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let it heat fully, then swish it around so it goes up the sides of the pan. Pour in asparagus and egg mixture, nudging the asparagus around so it mostly stays level with the eggs. Crumble goat cheese over, to taste. Cook gently (lowering the heat to medium-low if needed) for about 5 minutes, until the edges are set and brown but it’s still loose and eggy on top. Transfer skillet to the broiler and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, until eggs are set on top.
Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges, or longer if you’d like to eat it at room temperature.
Basic Mason Jar Ice Cream
The New York Times
“At Home” Column
By Amelia Nierenberg
May 9, 2020
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
A 16 oz Mason jar, of course.
Yield: About three servings.
1. Pour the cream, sugar, vanilla and salt into the jar, and screw on the lid tightly.
2. Shake vigorously, until the cream thickens and almost doubles in size, which should take about five minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the mixture doubles in volume and is about the consistency of brownie batter.
3. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Then eat. You’re welcome.
Or, add a twist
You could, if you’re daring, spruce it up. Here are some ideas on what to add to the recipe above.
Berry Ice Cream. If you want the flavor mixed-in, blend ½ cup of fresh berries and add it to the mixture before you freeze it. (You can also cheat: a tablespoon of jam will work.) If you prefer chunks, cut up the berries. Voilà.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.