Saturday, July 18, 2009

Steamed Clams and Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta

So, I've had a couple exciting days since I posted last. I had another interview for a teaching position teaching 7th and 8th grades (which I would LOVE to teach), but I didn't get it. Sigh. I found out that I passed my Praxis II PLT (which was a really hard and huge test). Yay! I got to spend some time with my baby sister. My mom made me an awesome sundress for the annual Family Vacation with the in-laws. The Brain and I spent a day boating and I almost went overboard (don't worry, I'm fine) and then at a baseball game. I also purchased some fun stuff this week that hopefully I'll be blogging about fairly soon. Hooray for summer!

Today was no less exciting. Today I got to meet Lisa.

You know. THE Lisa. Co-creator of the Daring Bakers. The extraordinary talent behind La Mia Cucina. Yeah. HER. Wow. And you know what? She's awesome! After a moment of fear that I was going to miss my exit and end up in Pennsylvania, I arrived way over on the other side of Cleveland and met Lisa, her terrific husband, and 6 of her good friends for breakfast. We then spent the day shopping at the West Side Market and Trader Joes and we ate lunch at this neat little Polish restaurant.

I took advantage of being around Lisa and picked her brain pretty thoroughly on how to steam clams. See, if I am going to buy seafood, I want good seafood. And pretty much, I don't think I'm going to find good seafood in rural North Central Ohio. (If you know of a place, please fill me in!) So I decided to take the West Side Market and meeting Lisa opportunity to be daring and make clams. I should also interject that I don't think I've ever had a clam before. I mean, I've had clam chowder and those battered fried ones that taste like rubber bands. But I've never actually had a steamed clam before. So I was a teensy bit nervous. Okay, nervous isn't the right word. Scared would be a better word. Teensy probably isn't right either.

But after much reassurance from Lisa, helpful hints from her husband, constant ice, and a friendly fishmonger, I'm happy to report that these were not hard at all. Yay! The fishmonger gave me some pretty clean clams. Lisa let me know that I should scrub the clams before cooking them. Her husband reminded me that if a clam is open before cooking it (and doesn't shut after tapping it) that I should throw it out, and if it is closed after cooking to also throw it out. And then I sort of followed the Cooking Light recipe that I had. They were not hard at all and super delicious! Yay!
Steamed Clams and Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta
inspired by Cooking Light

8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 Tbsp butter

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.

Heat oil in large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add tomato, garlic, and pepper to pan; saute for 1 minute. Add wine and water and bring to a boil. Add the clams and cover. Cook for 7 minutes or until shells open. Remove the clams from the pot with a slotted spoon. Add the butter to the cooking liquid and stir until it melts.

Combine the cooking liquid, pasta and clams and serve.
Oh and I also have FINALLY managed to mail out those prizes that I owed people. I am so sorry it took me so long.


glamah16 said...

How cool you got to meet Lisa! Love, love, love steamed clams.

Lis said...

I'm still raving today, to anyone who will listen, about what a great time I had yesterday! I am so glad we finally got to meet and I can't wait for the next time!

The clams look WONDERFUL! I am so trying this recipe! I hope you have a great trip today! Uhmm.. did you ever find your dog? hahaa!


Peter M said...

This is summer on the plate...little kitchen time perfect when served outdoors. I love fish & seafood.

Bellini Valli said...

You have certainly been having an amazing summer so far Mary.

the cheap chick said...

Mary, if you ever need to practice your clam-steaming skills again, I will GLADLY make the trip to Northern Ohio. Yum, yum, yum!