Thursday, January 5, 2017

SPAGHETTI WITH CLAMS, ITALIAN SAUSAGES, & CORN

This is my version of an Italian Clam Bake . . . in a skillet. You can cook the sausages and corn on the stove, but the grilling gives the dish a real outdoor clam bake taste. This recipe is done in stages, so you prepare part of the recipe, do something else, come back and finish the dish. In fact, you can cook the sausages, corn, and steam the clams in the morning and refrigerate. They will heat up in the final stage of the recipe. 
Removing the corn from the cob and slicing the sausages when they are cold, is much easier to do.


3 dozen littleneck or large manila clams
2 Italian sausages, grilled, or cooked in a skillet
1 ear corn, grilled, or boiled

½ lb (250 g) spaghetti

1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine, divided
2 T (30 ml) extra-light olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ t (2 ml) red pepper flakes
2 T (30 ml) minced Italian parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T (30 ml) unsalted butter
16 to 18 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Scrub clams under cold running water.
Place in a bowl and refrigerate for 15. This will help the clams relax and open their shells.

Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill. 
Grill the Italian sausages for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning often.
Grill the corn for about 10 minutes, turning often.
You can also do this on your stove.

Set the sausages and corn aside to cool.
When cool, remove corn from cob, and set aside.
Slice the sausages and set aside.

Remove clams from refrigerator and immediately pour cold water into the bowl. 
Set aside for 10 minutes, then drain off the water.
This process should clean out any sand.

Remove 14 of the largest clams and set aside in a bowl.
Place the rest of the clams in a large skillet, add ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and cover with a lid.
Steam until clams open, about 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any that failed to open.
Remove clams with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. 
When cool remove from shells and chop. Set aside in a bowl.
Pour juice into a cup or bowl.
Boil the spaghetti in salted water for about 5 minutes, firmer than al dente (“to the tooth”).
Turn off heat, cover and keep warm. The spaghetti will continue to cook.

In the same large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the shallot for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the rest of the larger clams, sausages, the rest of the wine, and reserved clam juice.
Cover and steam until clams are open, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove lid and add the chopped clams, corn, butter, and tomatoes.
Turn off heat and cover to keep warm for a couple of minutes.

Add a nest of pasta to each warm pasta bowl.
Evenly add the clam and sausage ingredients to each bowl.
Pour the broth and rest of skillet ingredients over each bowl.

Serve with crusty Italian bread.

Serves 2



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