Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orecchette Pasta with Minced Clams

I've told you before that my dad is a notoriously secretive cook. The man is mega camera shy about his food. He is not, however, shy about sharing food an insists on eating off of everyone's plate when we go out to eat and insists that everyone try what he is eating. To this day, I can't order the same dish as someone else in my dining party because my dad never let us do that growing up. It is a good idea in theory, until I end up having to order sweet breads for brunch at Carmen's Country Kitchen because that is the only thing left. dad made this dinner for my mom and I on Friday night and IT WAS AMAZING. He wouldn't give me the actual recipe, but I watched him carefully, took mental notes, and used a wide angle, paparazzi lens to shoot the pictures. Dad said that this recipe is inspired by one of his coworkers. I owe that person some thanks. I don't shy away from a tuna melt, but I've never really ventured into other canned seafood products. Apparently minced clams are packed fresh and develop a rich flavor in their can. They are sensationally tender and flavorful. Who would have ever guessed? This dish, with the soft orecchette pasta and garlicky clam sauce is simplicity at its best. I loved this pasta and I will be making it for myself very soon.
Orecchette Pasta with Minced Clams
1 lb. Orecchette pasta
1 can minced clams
4 Tbs. butter, divided
2 cloves garlic
3-4 Tbs. clam juice (i.e. water from the minced clams)
2 Tbs. dry sherry (vermouth or white wine)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2-3 Tbs. parsley
1. Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a large pan with finely minced garlic.
2. Add the sherry and clam juice.
3. Add the clams so that they soak up the flavors of the sauce. Cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes (basically while the pasta is cooking).
4. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the directions on your bag/box.
5. Add the pasta, along with additional butter and 1/4 cup of pasta water, to the sauce pan so that the pasta an soak up the flavors of the sauce. Allow to cook together 3-4 minutes on medium heat until the sauce has thickened.
6. Finely chop the parsley.7. Turn off the heat and add the cheese and parsley. Stir through and serve up in bowls.


  1. Tell your dad thanks. I will definitely be making this, especially during Lent. It looks absolutely delicious and you don't risk the splatter of slurping linguini.

    -- Kelaine

  2. Thanks ... forgot how easy and quick this is with high wow factor ~ yum and double yum ... add some basil pesto for another level of clam fabulousity.