Clams ‘n’ Pasta

Contains:  Shellfish, wheat, gluten, dairy, nightshades.  Is:  An effort to return to food blogging!

Happy New Year

I’ve been absent for a while, which wasn’t intended.  My mind wasn’t on cooking all that much [- oh, I cooked, but nothing out of the ordinary or different, other than a dish or two for the face-to-face cooking group I belong to, one of which was a recipe I’d already made here.  As for Mexican/Tex-Mex and South America month – moving that to May 2023.  As for other news, my ragdoll cat Serenity passed away in November three days shy of her 21st birthday.  But I now have a new cat, see the bottom of this post!

recipe, clams, pasta, tomato, cream cheese

This one was a dish involving looking around the kitchen to see what I’d like to cook up.  I had chopped clams that would go great in a soup, but I’ve already created a Rhode Island clam chowder for this site, and I don’t have the cream for New England clam chowder, and I don’t particularly like the Manhattan style.

Sooooo…  clams do go well with pasta.  And while I intend to make a good Italian pasta carbonara someday, this is not the day.  (I did try it last summer, but the result was so salty I had to toss it.  The Guanicale I’d obtained was saltier than remotely bearable, and Pecorino Romano is saltier than Parm.  I will try next time with prosciutto instead of Guanciale – which to begin with, was hard to find anyway.)

At any rate, the current dish is not remotely going to try to be Italian.  It is just simply going to be good in its own right, considering that I haven’t gone shopping to a real supermarket since 2022.  (I am getting most of my fresh veggies from a Massachusetts farmers’ delivery service – limited at this time of year, but more choices yet than the local mom and pop grocery.)

I didn’t have many grape tomatoes left, and the dish deserved more, so I added more in the recipe write-up than I actually used.

Prep Time:  20 minutes.
Cook Time: 15 minutes.
Rest Time:   Best not.
Cuisine:  N/A.
Serves:  2.

Clams ‘n’ Pasta

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2-3 slices of bacon, depending on thickness.  Cook to crispy but not burnt, drain on a paper towel,  Reserve the bacon fat.  When cool, break bacon into smaller pieces without totally crumbling them.
  • 4.5 ounces / 125 grams of dry pasta of your choice.  I used the mid-sized Farfalfale (bowtie) pasta.
  • Approximately 1/4 pound / 115 grams of chopped clams, mostly drained.
  • 4 ounces / 115 grams cream cheese.  If the solid brick, chop into smaller pieces, to facilitate melting.
  • 1 medium stalk leek, just the white and light green part, cleaned and sliced into rounds.
  • 10-15 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • 1 scallion, chopped.
  • About a half teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • About a half teaspoon of ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

METHOD:  

Get your mise en place in place.  Especially if you intend to start with the pasta portion.  If you doubt your timing, start cooking the pasta at some other step.

For cooking the pasta: set a pot of salted water to boil.  When boiling, add the pasta, making sure you have enough water for cooking it without pasta lumping together.  The pasta I used had a recommended cooking time of 12-14 minutes.

About three minutes before the recommended au dente cooking time (12 minutes for mine, hence 9 minutes) add the clams.  You may have to reduce the heat a little so the clams don’t cause the pot to boil over.

At the first stages of the pasta cooking, add the leeks and tomatoes to some of the hot bacon fat in your skillet, and add the seasonings.  Stir fry these together for five or so minutes, or until the leeks are translucent.  When done, add in the scallion, and turn the temperture to low.  Taste and adjust seasonings, noting that they will be diluted by the pasta when combined.

Test the pasta for done-ness.  You do want au dente, and the final product may cook another minute or so when everything is combined – so au dente is indeed the way to go.  Drain the pasta, reserving a small amount at the bottom of the pot.  Return the pasta to the pot and immediately add the cream cheese and mix over a low heat on your cooktop.

Add in the leek, etc. mixture, and add in the bacon.  Gently mix everything.  Serve immediately.

Side suggestion:  a light tossed salad with vinaigrette.

clams, pasta, cream cheese, tomato, recipe


My new cat is approximately three years old, and was found on the streets of North Carolina. He is FIV+, which means he does have a weakened immune system.  He was sent up to Connecticut, where he was fostered for three or four months until I took him home.  He is a love, so I suspect he escaped from someone’s car or something like that.  I was hoping to foster a Maine Coon (age 11), but their Maine Coon was taken before I could snap him up.  This one, of no certain genetic heritage, does quite nicely. Bjorn

BJORN, male Longhaired Tabby

(Yes, you pronounce that “BE-yorn”.)


This dish has been served at:

  • Contains:  Nightshades, dairy.  Is:  Grain-free, potentially paleo.

    recipe, mid-eastern, stuffed pepper, lamb, za;atar, labne

    The lamb came from a local farmer.

    Labne is a Middle-Eastern / Persian dairy product very similar to yogurt (it has cultures, and probably listens to Mozart when it can).  I find this at a Persian market in the Connecticut River valley.  It has a slightly more sour taste than most yogurts, and is made from milk kefir. Substitute in plain full fat Greek yogurt if you can’t find labne.  If you are dairy-free, it is not necessary, or try a plain coconut yogurt instead.

    labne

    I aimed to give this a Middle Eastern flair.

    recipe, mid-eastern, stuffed pepper, lamb, za;atar, labne

    Prep Time:  10 minutes.
    Cook Time:  Pan-frying — 10 minutes; Oven — 35 minutes.
    Rest Time: 5 minutes.
    Cuisine:  Middle Eastern influences.
    Makes:  2 stuffed peppers.
    Leftovers:  Certainly.

    Bell Peppers Stuffed with Ground Lamb, Topped with Labne

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1/2 pound ground lamb (or beef)
    • 1/2 pound shredded cabbage
    • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
    • 2 bell peppers, stems removed, de-seeded.  Any color.
    • 1/4 yellow onion, peeled.  Chop and dice finely.
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
    • 3/4 teaspoon za’atar
    • Salt and pepper to taste.
    • A drizzle of balsamic reduction for each.  
    • Top with labne or full fat Greek yogurt.

    METHOD:

    Preheat oven to 350 F / 180  C.

    Remove tops of, and de-seed two bell peppers.

    To a skillet, add the cooking oil.  (In my case, this was leftover bacon fat.)  Pan fry the cabbage, onion and ground lamb together, breaking up the ground beef as you add it.

    Cook until onions are transluscent, and the lamb is cooked, stirring occasionally.  About ten minutes.

    Put aside, and allow to cool to a level where you can handle it.  Add in the garlic powder, za’atar, salt and pepper, and mix.

    Stuff each pepper compactly.   Drizzle some balsamic reduction over the top.  Have them cook upright in your oven.

    Remove, and serve with the labne or yogurt either on top, or on the side (or both).

    Bake for 30-35 minutes.

    Contains:  Nightshades, dairy.  Is:  Grain-free, potentially paleo.,

    Cook until onions are transluscent, and the lamb is cooked, stirring occasionally.  About ten minutes.

    Put aside, and allow to cool to a level where you can handle it.  Add in the garlic powder, za’atar, salt and pepper, and mix.

    Stuff each pepper compactly.   Drizzle some balsamic reduction over the top.  Have them cook upright in your oven.

    Remove, and serve with the labne or yogurt either on top, or on the side (or both).

    Bake for 30-35 minutes.

    NOTE:  I ike my peppers au dente.  Some people want them softer – you can blanch the de-seeded peppers in boiling water for a minute or less, before making the rest of this recipe.  

    bell-logo

    ..

    This dish has been served at:

  • What’s for Dinner?  Sunday Link-Up
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About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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3 Responses to Clams ‘n’ Pasta

  1. helenfern says:

    Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – Have a great week.

  2. Aaw… so sorry about Serenity… 😦 Bjorn is such an awesome name for a cat. Those eyes!! He’d definitely win a staring contest 😀

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