When I was away for school last month, I spent the week in my aunt and uncle’s beach vacation home. Yep, not a bad way to spend the school days. It was only a 2 hour drive north, so my parents came to visit for the last couple days. While I sat in a classroom all day, they went down to the beach and picked oysters and clams.
I love living on the coast.
Now, I’m not normally a huge clam fan. In fact, I was worried this video
I took would scare me off them forever (they’re so weird!). Truth is, when I created this recipe on a whim one evening, I knew clams and I would be best friends for the rest of the summer and beyond.
This is, hands down, my favourite summer meal of 2014.
Light and refreshing with its lemony zing, this pasta dish is also super easy to make. Whether you yourself are digging for clams or just hopping down to your local grocer, I highly recommend you give it a try.
Lemon Clam Kale Spaghetti
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 10-16 clams
- 1 lemon
- 2 large kale leaves, chopped
- 400g spaghetti
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add parsley, onions and garlic. Sauté until onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the clams and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Add 2 cups of water and allow to boil softly. When the clam shells have opened, drain the water and set aside. If any clams are not open, discard them.
- Cook your spaghetti according to the instructions on the box. Drain the water and place the pot on a very low heat. Add the clams, the juice of half a lemon, the chopped kale leaves and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix thoroughly.
- Serve with freshly cracked salt and pepper, and a wedge of lemon. Garnish with parsley if you'd like.
Just in case you’re wondering why I didn’t just cook the clams directly with the spaghetti, here’s the reason that my momma taught me – especially if you’re digging for your own, clams can have sand still inside them. If you just cook them with your pasta then you could end up with tooth crunching bits of sand in your dish. By cooking them separately and rinsing them out, you’ll avoid a possible tooth chip or at the very least, a nasty surprise.
If you are super worried about stray bits of sand, you can also choose to rinse the clams after draining them.
I chose to make my pasta cheese free so the lemon flavour can take command, but hey this would taste fantastic with some parmesan or grana padano shaved on top.
Mmmm…I may just have to do that next time actually.
Have you gone digging for clams?
And are you a clam fan or did that video turn you off?