Thursday, June 21, 2007

Casino Pasta

Do you remember Clams Casino? It is sort of an old fashioned, (maybe 'classic' is a better word) appetizer. The flavor combination is well worth reviving from your mother's 1960's hand-written recipe card collection. I had been craving this dish and decided to develop a pasta recipe using all the same ingredients. If you don't like clams, or can't get good ones fresh or frozen, scallops would be an equally good replacement for the clams (just up the amount to 1 and 1/2 pounds sea scallops, cut into quarters)

4 oz (125 grm) bacon, chopped
1/2 stick (50 grams) butter (or less depending on how much fat is rendered form the bacon)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound (200 grams) shelled, fresh or frozen clams (not canned)
3/4 cup fresh parsely, chopped fine
3/4 pound dry spaghetti

1) Place a pasta pot full of hot water and plenty of salt, over high heat (covered) to boil.
2) Place a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat and add in chopped bacon. Saute bacon until cooked, but not crisp.
3) At this point, get the pasta cooking.
4) To the bacon, add in butter, both peppers, shallot and garlic. Saute for about three minutes, until just cooked. Turn up the heat to high, add in wine and clams (or scallops), cover and continue to cook until clams are done-- about 4-5 minutes, depending on size and temperature of the clams (or scallops) when added..
5) Remove the sauce from the heat, taste and add salt and/or black pepper if you like. Keep covered until the pasta is cooked al dente and drained.
6) Toss sauce with the pasta, then add in parsley. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Serves 6 main course

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