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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Linguini con Fasolari aka Giant Clams

Dinner is barely over and I’m running to the computer as fast as I can to blog our meal. This post is dedicated to Rowena who wrote about fasolari on her blog earlier this week. I thought they were vongole veraci but I was wrong. This is a clam of a whole different color. When I saw them at the supermarket today I had to pick up a bundle. (To the credit of Super GS, my local supermarket, every single clam opened.) I don’t usually buy seafood at the supermarket but this time, I was rewarded. The clams were very tasty. As I am a bit under the emotional weather and not feeling very creative my hubby pulled the meal together and I was the soux chef tonight.

Fasolari con Linguini
Serves 2 and 5 chili (5 kilograms) dog

1 kilo of large clams or fasolari
4 smashed garlic cloves
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T cognac
½ C. dry white wine
200-300 grams of pasta about ½ a pound *always cook in salted water*
Olive oil

Note: Fasolari open much slower than normal clams, to have the pasta and clams ready at the same time, (dried linguini takes 8-10 minutes to cook,) start the clams right before the pasta water boils.

1. Clean the clams, scrub them and soak them in cool water a few hours before dinner. These clams have large siphons and there can be a lot of grit and sand in them. I found a little “pearl” in one of mine.

2. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan, brown garlic pieces on both sides and add clams. Watch out for splatter, have a cover ready. When the clams have coated with oil, turn the heat up, add wine and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the cognac and flambé with care.

3. Now it a waiting game. As they open remove the clams immediately from the broth and place in a large bowl. When all the clams have opened, add the 75% cooked pasta to the sauce and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Add the parsley, a few grinds of pepper and return the clams to the pan. Toss to coat and combine. When the pasta is done 1-2 minutes, plate up the pasta and clams. If there is much additional sauce in the pan, fire up the burners and reduce for 30-60 seconds more. Pour the sauce on to the pasta and serve. No cheese with seafood and garnish with more chopped parsley if you wish. I had veal tenderloin as a second course but it was not needed.

The Fasolari are enormous, a large one can fill your palm.

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I never do flambe's; I'm too chicken, Demetrio is much better at it.

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The finished dish, shiny, savory and slippery pasta. Heaven plated up!


At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I JUST found your site through Expat's!! How lucky am I??
You have a great site with wonderful stories to read--Thanks so much!!

I'm off on vacation (to Bellingham!)...but when I get back I plan to 'devour' your archives. I can't wait!

Love your photos too---great content; I can totally taste those clams!

Allisa in Las Vegas, NV
P.S.: Please send for your kitty...Judith is right. Follow your heart. Kitty will live out the rest of his years right where he should--with you! :) Good luck!

At 3:54 PM, Blogger H. (aka. NC_State_Gal) said...

Mmmmmmm...mmmmm... Love shellfish. Even though I just ate 2 hours ago, your photos are making my tummy rumble!

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Joe said...

This looks really good! Great pics!

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Culinary Fool said...

The clams are beautiful and the meal sounds heavenly!!

~ B

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Ana said...

Gia, those clams look fantastic. I'm envious. The photos are great too. I'm going to come back. You have a very nice blog.

At 2:44 AM, Anonymous rowena said...

Crikeys! I didn't even see this post. I think I'll give it another year at blogging, hanging out with the dog and reading newspapers, mags, and books is what I seem to be doing more and more lately...


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