Spaghettti With Clam Sauce -- authentic Italian

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Spaghettti With Clam Sauce -- authentic Italian

Postby Gatofeo » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:36 pm

Here's a recipe given me years ago. The lady said it was authentic Italian. Not sure about that, but it sure is good!
It's different from what you get in restaurants, and even canned, because it does not contain cream. The sauce is made solely by the interaction of olive oil, wine, spices and clam broth.
It's not difficult to make and all ingredients are easily found. I've found that fresh parsley can be the most difficult to find. Lacking fresh parsley, you can use dried parsley or the fresh leaves of celery, chopped fine. This is a good camping recipe for a group, requiring only a large skillet and a big pot to cook spaghetti. A colander makes draining the spaghetti easier.

1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 cup clam broth, or use the juice from canned clams if you can't get fresh clams. Bottled clam broth, often called "clam nectar" may also be found.
1/4 tsp. White Pepper. Regular pepper will do, but it must be very finely ground. White pepper has a subtler taste than its black cousin.
1/4 cup dry, white wine. The small, individual bottles of wine are good for this recipe, if no one wants to drink wine.
3 dozen small clams, shucked, or two 6.5 oz. cans of chopped clams
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound spaghetti, spaghettini or linguine
2 Tbsp. soft butter
2 Tbsp. finely chopped, fresh leaf parsley. Can't find it? Fine-chop some fresh celery leaves or use dried parsley.
Salt -- but if you use canned clams go easy on it or eliminate salt entirely.
Grated Parmesan cheese -- the fresh stuff, not the "green can" junk. At least 4 ounces.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until it forms a light haze. Stir in the garlic and cook at medium heat, stirring constantly until garlic is softened. Pour in the clam broth and wine. Boil briskly over high heat until the foam disappears and the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
Add the clams and cook until the liquid is again reduced.
Reduce heat to very low, or place the heavy skillet near the campfire to keep it warm.
In a large kettle, add a little salt and olive oil to the water. Get it to a rolling boil and add the spaghetti. Stir frequently to keep the strands from sticking to each other or the bottom of the pot.
Boil until a sample piece of pasta is slightly resistant between your teeth. This is known as al dente. Overcooked pasta is mushy, but at al dente it is cooked but slightly resistant to the bite.
Drain the cooked spaghetti and transfer it to a large, heated bowl. A large, metal mixing bowl works fine in camp and serves multiple uses.
Toss the spaghetti with softened butter, add the clam mix and chopped parsley. At this point I usually add about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the tossed pasta and clam mix, but you may wish to serve the cheese as a side dish, so everyone can put in as much as they like, or none.
Provide warmed ceramic or metal bowls for your guests. This dish loses heat rapidly in the cool air of a camp, or during long conversations around the dinner table.
Reheating in the bowl, near the campfire, will resurrect it -- if it lasts that long.

This dish serves 4 to 6, according to the original recipe. But that's with all the other eats typically served. In camp, figure that it will serve 4. Bring a loaf of ready-made garlic bread to stretch it. The same pasta-boiling pot can be used to boil fresh ears of corn, which goes well in camp.
A ready-made green salad is also a nice touch in camp.

Variation:
Add some minced, fresh or canned mushrooms to the clam mix, according to taste. I usually add one small can, or mine a few medium-sized mushrooms.
Add 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmet to the clam mix. Clam and nutmeg flavors mix together very well.
Add 1/4 cup of finely minced red onions to the clam mix. They not only add flavor, but a little color too.
The above variations are not authentic Italian, but they're sure tasty additions.
This recipe is easily made at home or in camp. Beer, wine or ice water are good beverage accompaniments.

Leftovers? You have GOT to be kidding! :lol:
"A vast desert. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment and metallic cylinders. The ugly cat is much amused." -- The quantrains of Gatodamus (1503-1566)
Gatofeo
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