I feel like this is one of those quintessential summer meals.
Right now, I am all about the quintessential summer meals. As we enter into our last full month of summer (WHAT!!!) I am making sure I really live it up. And by live it up, I really only mean eat it up. And by eat it up, I really mean all of summer’s “bestest” foods. This means berries, zucchini, peppers, tons of corn, hatch chiles, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, TOMATOES, seafood, grilled everything and probably even some more eggplant too.
I’m kind of excited and hoping it’s gonna be a pretty delicious second half to summer!
Alright, so growing up I didn’t even know what a clam was. Until I made this pasta I had never – not even once – had clams. No clam bakes or clam pastas. I know, I grew up so sheltered from all things seafood. While actually, I grew up sheltered from a lot of foods, but as I get older I think it is my mission to change that.
A while back my cousin, Maggie had asked if I could make linguine and clams. It was kind of a busy week as I recall so I put it off. If I am being honest, I wasn’t all that excited about the request either. To me, it just sounded kind of average and typical, plus I wasn’t really sure how I could put my own spin on it since I was not familiar with clams. But then the other day I got the idea of cooking clams in my head. I must have seen a pretty picture of them or something because I suddenly really wanted to make clams. I had it SO in my head that the next day I scrapped what I was supposed to be doing, went to the store, bought all the clams they had, and made this pasta.
Surprisingly, clams are really easy to cook.
Double the surprise though? I actually really like clams.
The only reason I say double is because there was a point during the cooking process when things started to smell really fishy. When that happened, I got nervous. I am not a huge fan of overly fishy dishes.
I kept going though and surprisingly, they turned out pretty good.
I have to say though, clams are not the cutest things to look at. Actually they are a little creepy, but I tried to push those thoughts out of my head.
What do I do when trying to make myself feel better… add cheese.
Yes, I added cheese. I know that some people have this thing about seafood and cheese, but the truth is I am not a seafood purist. I am really more like a cheese purist. In my mind cheese can only make things better. Not to mention, it really helps with the whole overly fishy thing. Yeah, cheese totally takes care of that.
You can of course leave the cheese out if you wish, but if I where you, I really wouldn’t.
There is also some crispy prosciutto going on in this too.
For some reason I forgot about prosciutto all winter, spring and half the summer. This is just crazy because prosciutto, both uncooked and crispy, is delicious.
I thought about adding bacon, and if you don’t have prosciutto or just like bacon better, feel free to use that, but the prosciutto works so well. I feared that bacon would over-power the delicate flavors, so prosciutto seemed like a good fit. I love the salty crunch it adds to this pasta and it pairs really nicely with the basil.
Oh and umm, these clams?? Well, they are drunken clams. That’s the very best kind, right?
My cousin Abby advised me to use a little… ok a lot, of wine. I had to remind her that I can’t actually go and buy wine because I am not yet twenty-one. That’s when my cousin Maggie stepped in and advised me to use my Mimi’s leftover bottle from when she was here visiting in June. Yep, those cousins of mine are smart.
Worked perfectly, and Mimi would be so happy to know her booze didn’t go to waste!
Hope your Monday ends up being as happy as a clam!