Saturday, October 24, 2009

Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce

Gold and red leaves are falling from the trees in our yard in droves, it's cool and rainy, and I am suddenly craving warming, hearty meals.

I had a recipe for linguine with white clam sauce that I have made for a couple of years, but it uses cream of mushroom soup and is a little heavy and pasty for my taste, so I wanted to find another. I posted a request on the Cuisine at Home website and now have two recipes to try! The first I made tonight for dinner and it was very, very good.

Linguine with white clam sauce can be high in fat and calories because of the amount of butter and cheese usually added. This really isn't necessary because using a good olive oil and being judicious with the cheese can still make a quite delicious dish, as this recipe proves.

The original recipe made enough for 4 servings, so I needed to cut the ingredients in half. Easy enough, but since Jack refuses to believe that a "serving" of pasta is a mere 2 ounces, so I needed to adjust the recipe a little to accommodate more than half of the amount of pasta. This was done with a simple addition of lowfat half and half and a little cornstarch to thicken it.

As always when I post a recipe using lowfat (or fat-free) half and half, I have to warn that if you boil this it will separate and the result will be little clumps of congealed white stuff in the sauce. Not at all pretty, but it doesn't affect the flavor. I know. I've forgotten my own warning and done this several times!

Anyway, a meal couldn't be quicker to pull together. Add a salad and some good wine and you have an easy, absolutely delicious meal which is perfect for a cool fall evening.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce

Servings: 2 Preparation Time :0:25

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

6 ounces whole wheat linguine
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 1/2 ounces chopped clams -- do not drain
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lowfat half & half (can also use milk, if doing so increase cornstarch to 1tsp)
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add salt, then the pasta and stir. Cook until al dente, and drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a nonstick skillet over a medium flame and add olive oil. Swirl to distribute the oil then add the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, then add crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute, add the entire can of clams (undrained) and cook for 3 minutes.

Add half of the Parmesan and half of the parsley. Mix the lowfat half and half and cornstarch and stir into the clam sauce. Stirring constantly, bring to almost a boil (when lowfat or fat-free half and half boils, it will separate). Turn the heat off and add the cooked, drained linguine.

Divide between 2 plates, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley, and serve.

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Per serving: 491 Calories (kcal); 10g Total Fat (2g Saturated); (17% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 69g Carbohydrate; 68mg Cholesterol; 512mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

We have a lot of different varieties of trees in our yard, and this
combo looks so nice in the fall- a silver maple in the background
with a purple flowering plum in front of it.

The small wooden building is an old corn crib.