Monday, June 22, 2015

the poverty luxe kitchen vol. 13: penne with clam sauce.

well, it seems that were on a bit of a nostalgic kick here in the poverty luxe kitchen (i blame this 100% on pregnancy because i am ALL ABOUT food nostalgia when im pregnant), because today i have another recipe for you guys that from deep in my fondest childhood memories: pasta in white wine clam sauce. 

yeah, i know, i was a really weird kid. but also i was raised in a very um... california? family. and by that i mean i grew up around a much broader and more adventurous attitude about food than the average american family. i mean, i was the pickiest and least adventurous eater in the entire family and i still ended up with a palate that well... lets just say it made my time living in rural arizona EXTREMELY difficult. 

but back to the pasta: for a HUGE chunk of my childhood basically every birthday/holiday involved a dinner at the local buca di beppo (which im assuming had to do with us living within walking distance from one right when it opened/buca was becoming a big thing), and i ALWAYS ordered the linguini with white clam sauce. not pizza, not spaghetti, not lasagna, but the linguini with clams. eventually that became my #1 choice at any italian-ey restaurant that had it on the menu, because, like i already said, i was just really weird, ok? anyway, years went by (several of which i was vegan) and i grew up and for some reason i didnt give that childhood favorite of mine much thought until i impulsively bought a frozen version at trader joes and remembered just how much i love it. 

later i started researching recipes and it turns out, this special-occasion treat dinner that i have absolutely no qualms about dropping 20+ dollars on, its really not hard to make at all. and its basically entirely normal pantry staples. and if you wait for the cans of clams to go on sale, it costs maybe $10 to make a huge, family-sized batch of it (and thats accounting for my super expensive GF noodles). yeah, so what USED to be a special birthday and anniversary treat, is basically just on our normal dinner rotation. 

I know that typically this type of recipe would be made with linguini, but my favorite local italian place makes there gluten free version with penne, which holds up a lot better and has a better texture than gluten free linguini does. so if youre making this gluten free, yes i do recommend using penne noodles, but if not, go ahead and use normal linguini if you want to be more traditional. 

anyway, on to the recipe: 

penne with clam sauce. 

serves 4 as an entree, more as a side dish. 

heres what you need: 

1 lb gluten free penne (this one is my favorite)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
2 cans clams (with juice)
1 stick butter
1 cup white wine (i just use whatevers 3/$10 at sprouts)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

heres what you do: 

start by boiling the pasta according to the package directions (note: gluten free pasta needs to be watched more closely than normal pasta because it gets gummy if overcooked). drain and set aside. 

in a very large pan, sauté the onions and garlic on medium-high heat in olive oil until they begin to soften (about 3-5 minutes), seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.

once the onions and garlic are cooked, add the clams (with juice), butter, wine, and lemon juice and stir until butter is completely melted. 

reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook sauce until it begins to reduce and thicken (about 10 minutes), tasting and adjusting seasonings if necessary. 

add pasta and parsley to sauce and toss to coat. 

see, that wasnt difficult at all, was it? next time you need an impressive dinner that wont cost an arm and a leg (or take all day), this recipes waiting right here for you. 

whats your favorite special restaurant dinner? do you ever make it at home? let me know in the comments!

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