On a night when nothing goes as planned, it's nice to know you can always rely on a great pasta dish. It's a big challange aquiring any kind of fresh seafood here in Mississippi except by mailorder. I came across these Coquina clams frozen in a box at the Grocery. To my suprise, they were quite delicious, flavorful and quite deceiving too. You would never know they came out of a box. As I always say, fresh is best, but sometimes you must do what you can. What a wonderful surprise.
Ingredients for 4 people:
12 oz of Spaghetti
4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
One tablespoon salt (for the pasta water)
One large pot filled with 8 quarts of water
One large skillet to cook your fish sauce
One plus 1/2 teaspoon salt for the fish
optional pinch of red pepper flakes or small pinch of fresh chile pepper
1 pound Clams (any small variety will do)
One pound of cleaned, cut, calamari (squid)
One cup of white wine
3 cloves of diced garlic plus one more for your sauce.
(Special note: These were frozen, pre-cooked, clams. They require very little additional cooking time, or your clams will be rubbery and tasteless. If you are using fresh, be sure to allow ample time for the cleaned clams to steam open while bathing in a sautee pan of a few tablespoons of olive oil and garlic. Add your white wine and place a lid on the pan for a few minutes. Keeping your heat on medium/high. Take a look at your clams. When they are open, remove the lid and remove your clams from the pan. Add you squid and cook. Add some wine and let evaporated. Your squid will turn opaque. Be sure and remove them from the pan). Follow instructions below to cook your sauce).
3 teaspoons of garlic minced
one cup of white wine
One 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and their juic
1/2 cup of water
additonal salt to taste.
One handful of parsley to taste
Method: Into a skillet, heat your oil and sautee your garlic until fragrant. Since you are dealing with frozen clams, it is not necessary to thaw them. Just add them to the pan along with your fresh or frozen (thawed), squid rings. (Be sure and cut them before adding them to the pan.
Turn your heat up and let the liquid bubble away. Add your wine, salt, and give them a stir. After 5 minutes, you will see a small ring of oil on the outskirts of the pan. Remove your fish and the liquid into a bowl. Add addtional oil and some more diced garlic and sautee.
Add your tomatoes (blend in the food processor if you like), water, salt, (pepper if you like), and stir. Add some parsley and let cook away for at least 10 mintues on simmer. When your sauce begins to stick just a little, add your fish back to the pan.
Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes more until most of the liquid is evaporated. You will notice a ring again around the pan of oil. Give your fish a mix. Your sauce will begin to stick to the sides of the pan just a little. Remove quickly form heat and cook your pasta until al dente. Mix and enjoy. Buon Appetito!