Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clam and Pesto Spaghetti with Peas and Shallots

Spring is finally starting to arrive! In my mind it is anyway. There is no snow in the 7 day forecast, and the highs are all above 5 degrees. This makes me very happy. Regardless of the weather, I can feel the winter gloominess lifting, and that is all that matters really.

I have mentioned before how much I love clam pasta. It is so simple when you use canned baby clams and is a great source of protein. I wanted to use up some leftover pesto from when I made this, and thought that pesto + pasta + clams would be a great combination. I added some peas to get in some vegetables. The resulting sauce, or shall I say green mush, turned out better than expected considering the appearance. I have been thinking about this recipe for well over a week so I was very excited to finally put it all together.

Clam and Pesto Spaghetti with Peas and Shallots

Serves 3

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot
2 cloves of garlic
sprinkle of red chili flakes (whatever you can handle)
3/4 can peas (if you have fresh or frozen...use them instead)
1 can baby clams, drained
~1/4 cup pesto (depends on your taste really...)
spaghetti, cooked

1. Heat olive oil in pan on medium-high heat.
2. Saute shallot for 1 minute and add garlic. Heat until fragrant. Add chili flakes.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add peas and clams. Once warm, add pesto and stir to combine.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Top spaghetti with pesto and clam mixture.

This meal was really quick to put together. If I were to do it again (and I probably will), I wouldn't use spaghetti. I would use rotini or farfalle (bowtie) or even cheese tortellini. The chunky "sauce" does not really mix well with the long noodles and I ended up cutting up my spaghetti like a 6 year old. I would also top it with some fresh Parmesan cheese if I had it. Finally, as noted in the ingredient list, I would use fresh or frozen peas over canned peas if I had them (canned peas up the mushy factor). Now, if clams or canned seafood are not your thing, then by all means substitute chicken, small cubes of tofu, or even lentils. However, it won't make the dish look any better I suspect. While tasty, this might not be a meal you serve your friends unless you show a track record of good cooking and they trust that you are not trying to serve them baby food.

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