Sunday, July 08, 2007

Clam Pepper Spaghetti

This is one of my little food inventions. Somewhere along the line I tasted clams with peppers and really liked how the two flavors seemed to marry really well. I've been making this dish for a couple years now and vary the recipe each time. For instance, this particular recipe contains fresh spring peas that I purchased at a local farm. But below is the basic set of ingredients that are used and the procedure for cooking. You can use almost any type of spaghetti but I like fettucine, linguini or perchitelli best.


2 oz. olive oil
5 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers (orange, yellow can be used as well or a mix of colors) coarsely chopped
2 oz. of fennel coarsely chopped
1 medium size sweet onion coarsely chopped
10 oz. can of whole clams plus juice (I used Geisha brand wild caught whole baby clams)
3/4 cup of fruity white wine (Colombelle, a tart and fruity wine from Gascony is my preferred choice but any other fruity white will do)
3/4 cup of fresh spring peas or frozen petit pois
8 oz. of whole wheat linguini
1.2 tbsp. sea salt

1. Add garlic, pepper, onion and fennel to a food processor - pulse blend adding 1 oz. of olive oil to smooth slightly
2. Heat 12 inch pan to medium and add rest of olive oil
3. Add garlic, pepper, onion, fennel mix plus salt and saute at low to medium heat until slightly caramelized about 15-20 minutes
4. Turn up heat to medium and add wine - adjust to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes
5. Add clams and clam juice and simmer for another 10-15 minutes
6. Add peas during last five minutes of cooking
6. Cook pasta to al dente (slightly undercooked) in large pot of boiling water - when cooked use tongs to remove pasta and add it to the pepper clam mixture. Mix it together and let it simmer at low heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the liquid and flavors.
7. Serve in bowls with chopped fresh basil or mint for garnish.

I typically drink a fruity white wine with this - pinot grigio works well but any other fruity white (no oak) can be used. Rose also goes well with this dish.

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer or starter course and four as main course.

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