Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby clam and red pepper sauce recipe

I had dozens of cookbooks (none of the classics like Joy of Cooking, though I have a New Larousse Gastronomique) but I still couldn't find a recipe for canned baby clams (they were on sale) except for a white sauce for linguine. So I made up my own. You can serve this on al dente whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or other cooked grain like couscous. Al dente pasta has a lower glycemic index than over-cooked floppy mushy pasta. Make as much pasta or whatever as you need. This recipe freezes well.

A mere quarter-cup of baby clams provides well over 100 percent of the RDI for iron and B12. They're a bit high in cholesterol, but wtf. I like the chewy texture. A handy site for finding way more than you need to know about the nutritional components of various foods, including some brand names, is the USDA Fat-Free database. Just type in the food in the field at the top and hit Enter. With the beans and whole grain pasta or brown rice, this provides a good source of dietary fiber; lots of Vitamin A and C; iron; and some protein.

I like to get all my ingredients measured out before I start cooking. That way, if I decide to drink a little wine in the process I don't get as muddled up. And you can pour a half-cup or so of the wine into the sauce, too. Any or all of the herbs and spices are up to you.

Here we go:

Clams in Red Pepper Sauce (c) Karen E. Black 2009

  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or enough to just lightly cover the bottom of a large saucepan)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 can baby clams, drained
  • 2 sweet red peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped (I prefer sweet onions, but you can use what you like)
  • 2 cups diced fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned black beans (AKA turtle beans), drained and rinsed (this removes salt)

Heat oil in pot on medium high heat (don't let it smoke!). Add the spices and herbs and stir briefly until they're aromatic.

Stir in red peppers and onion, and saute until tender (not too long -- about 5 minutes).

Add the tomatoes, clams, beans, wine, and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve over pasta or rice or your whatever.

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