A few weeks ago I got the urge to visit the seafood market and find some fresh fish or shellfish for dinner. As I drove home with a pound of shrimp and a four-pound bag of clams, I realized I might have a bit too much food for just Nick and me. So, we called my parents and invited ourselves over for dinner- they’d provide the kitchen, we’d provide the food. Seems like a reasonable exchange to me.
This is a wonderfully simple recipe from Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Pasta. It’s pretty quick, too, although I did run into a little trouble with cooking the clams. You are supposed to add the shrimp and clams at the same time, and simmer until the shrimp are pink and the clams have opened. According to the book, this should take about 7 minutes. Yes, the shrimp were done in 7 minutes. But at 10 minutes, none of the clams had opened yet. I started to panic, convinced that I had not stored the clams correctly and they were all ruined. Fortunately, my parents and Nick are a little more patient than I am (at least when it comes to mollusks) and encouraged me to wait a few more minutes before I threw the clams in the trash. I pulled the shrimp out of the pan so they wouldn’t overcook, and miraculously, at about 12 or 15 minutes, every single clam finally opened. So… if you have hesitant clams like I did, don’t worry. But once the majority of clams have opened, do be sure to discard any stubborn ones that remain closed.
Have lots of crusty bread on hand to soak up the wonderful broth. The white wine adds depth to what is generally a light, but satisfying, dish.
Spaghetti with Pinot Grigio and Seafood (serves 4-6; from Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis)
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Pinot Grigio (or other dry white wine)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed (I used four pounds, because that’s how they were sold… no one complained)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups arugula (or baby spinach)
Cook spaghetti according to package instructions, and drain.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for three minutes, until tender but not brown. Add sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add wine, shrimp, and clams. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer until shrimp are pink and clams have opened. (As I mentioned, if your clams are being stubborn, you can always remove the shrimp from the pan so they don’t overcook.) Discard any clams that have not opened.
Add the spaghetti to the skillet (or if you don’t have enough room, return the spaghetti to the now-drained pot where you cooked the pasta and then add the seafood mixture in the pot). Add salt and pepper, stir to combine, then fold in arugula (or spinach). Serve immediately.