A few weeks ago, while perusing the menu at the Media Town House (we were there celebrating my grandmother’s 90th birthday), a curious conversation transpired between Michael and I over the subject of clams:
Me: “I’m thinking of either getting the red clam or white clam sauce. We never have clams anymore!”
Michael, complete with horrified look: “No! Don’t get that! I can make that for you! We’ll get some for next week! I’m sorry—it has been a while since we’ve had them!”
And so goes the story behind this dish. Littlenecks happily were on sale that week, and on Tuesday they accompanied a spicy version of our easy tomato sauce (made so by a generous addition of crushed red pepper), being gently steamed until they opened in some oil, white wine, shallots and garlic. Lacking any long pasta in the house (and for once feeling too lazy to walk to Romeo’s), penne was settled upon and served very well in either spaghetti or linguini’s stead.
Why did we go through such a long clam drought, you ask, given how simple this meal was? One word: prep. Well, that and the fact that usually you need to buy several pound of clams and mussels to get a satisfactory amount of meat, leading someone the task of debearding mussels or scrubbing clams. I think we came to a compromise on this for the future, though—we’ll save shellfish for the days that we’ll both be home, allowing me to take on the prep work while Michael comes up with various sauce applications in which to cook them.
After all: it’s only fair that I put in the effort if I want to eat them so badly. Besides—the end results are always worth it.