A heavier sauce adds punch to a pasta and clam favorite

FAST & FRESH

August 18, 1993|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

Pasta with clam sauce is a traditional favorite, but too many versions lack punch. After tasting many anemic versions in various restaurants, I decided to develop a quick but more interesting treatment for this low-cholesterol bivalve.

Topping linguine with a heavier bodied sauce is definitely the way to go. The flat linguine noodle is light enough to work well with a slightly thickened sauce. Fresh clams certainly are appealing, but the canned variety saves the trouble of cleaning, and the clam broth is ready to go. The addition of corn and scallions to this dish improves the flavor and lends a little variety of texture. Ready-made pesto adds richness to the sauce and is handy to have around for adding character to many sauces and salad dressings when youdon't want to spend time chopping fresh basil.

Toss your favorite salad combination together and keep it chilled while preparing the rest of the meal.

A perfect ending is also a simple one. For the creamy Chambord sauce, mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar with 2 tablespoons Chambord liqueur until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (the low-fat variety works beautifully). Pour over fresh raspberries.

Items you should have as staples are: dry white wine, lemons, cornstarch, green onions, salt and pepper, lettuce and vegetables for salad, salad dressing, brown sugar, Chambord, plain yogurt or sour cream.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list: 12 ounces linguine, 2 (10 ounce) cans whole baby clams or 3 (6 ounce) cans chopped clams, corn (1 ear fresh or 1cup frozen kernels), prepared pesto, 2 containers fresh raspberries ( 1/2 pint each).

Linguine with rich clam sauce

Serves 4

12 ounces linguine

2 (10 ounce) cans baby clams or 3 (6 ounce) cans chopped clams, drained (reserve broth)

1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup corn kernels, freshly cut orfrozen and thawed

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion

3 tablespoons prepared pesto

salt and pepper to taste

Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.

Cook linguine according to package directions, coordinating timing so it is ready to drain immediately after clam sauce is hot.

Reserve clams and, in a medium microwavable bowl, add clam broth (you should have about 1 1/2 cups), white wine, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Whisk to dissolve cornstarch and then microwave, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes, stirring after two minutes. Sauce should be slightly thickened. Add reserved clams, corn, green onion, pesto, salt and pepper to taste, stir. Return to microwave and heat on full power 2-4 more minutes or until all is hot.

Place hot linguine on plates and cover with equal portions of clam sauce. Pass added pesto, as desired.

MENU

Linguine with clam sauce

Tossed vegetable salad

Fresh raspberries with creamy chambord sauce

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