A few nights ago, Betty made a big platter of her famous Paella Isabella. It served 5 for dinner very nicely. However, not all of the clams and chorizo that we had bought wound up in the paella, which got me thinking about what to do with them the next day.
Having a vague recollection of a pasta dish with clams and pancetta, and thinking about dishes where seafood and pork combine nicely, I decided to experiment with these leftovers. A light tomato sauce, almost a Marechiaro, seemed to be the right approach. Rather than parsley, Betty suggested a little cilantro to finish the dish. It was the right thing to do, and the result was sublime.
(Serves 2, preparation time, 30 minutes)
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 cloves of garlic, minced
2 dozen Littleneck Clams, scrubbed and rinsed
¼ lb. Chorizo, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup of dry white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut-up
½ lb. spaghetti
Chopped cilantro, about 3 tablespoons
1. Boil a large pot of water for the spaghetti.
2. Heat olive oil in a separate pot, about 5 qt. sized.
3. Add the garlic to the oil, and sauté lightly; do not let it burn.
4. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
5. Add the clams and cover the pot.
6. After about 2 or 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and chorizo.
7. When clams begin to steam open, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to directions.
8. Once most of the clams have opened, to avoid over-cooking them, remove them to a bowl while the sauce continues to boil and thicken, and until the spaghetti is done.
9. When the spaghetti is al dente to the taste, drain it and add it to the sauce.
10. Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a large serving bowl, add the clams and garnish with cilantro.
11. Serve immediately.
12. Feel free to add grated pecorino-romano cheese, if so desired.