Friday, May 27, 2011

Something I'm Not Expecting

I always try and get Jon to tell me what we are having for dinner during the day or the night before when I know he's off and going to be cooking.  I ask for a few reasons 1. So I know how lightly to eat at lunch, 2. It gives me something to look forward too, and 3. Ohh,I give up, I love food, thinking about it, eating, it, I mean, damn it, I just want to know!!!!   But, he usually refuses to tell me—and tonight's put off as I beg on the phone at work, hoping my boss thinks I’m talking to a client, was something I'm not expecting.  This makes me nervous... I'm sure it will be fantastic, but I just want to know people!   

I arrive home, after a vigorous workout, hungry and ready to consume all the delicious calories that Jon has prepared.  I go into the kitchen to “pour myself a glass of water” aka snooping through the fridge to see what’s he’s prepped so I can try and figure out what we are having, I find chopped up pancetta, garlic, and parsley.  HUMMMMM, (somehow I manage to miss the big glaring key ingredient that would have tipped me off) so I’m still left to wonder. 

As I sit down on the couch, freshly showed and changed, wearing a sundress because it was hella hot!  I sweetly ask, “honey, what’s for dinner?” the response is “pasta.”  Does anyone not see how infuriating that answer is????!!!!  Finally after begging he tells me, Linguine with clams or linguine alla vongole, Urban Chef Style baby!

Linguine with clams is one of my favorite dishes!  Garlicky pasta with sweet succulent clams, how could it get any better!!! Shockingly, (gasp) Jon has never made it for me before last night.   It was perfect, we had just received a Fresh Direct delivery so we had the best dry pasta, De Cecco, and Jon had gone all the way to Fish Tials at the Bergen G/F stop to get fresh clams.  The pasta was perfectly done to al dente, the garlic was like perfume, and the ham gave it that salt that it needed without actually having to over salt the pasta.  The sauce clung perfectly to the pasta (a trick, you never put olive oil in the pasta water, EVER!!! It makes the pasta slippery and it doesn’t stick.)  Instead, you boil the pasta in salty water, then, when you drain the pasta, reserve some of the water, it is beautifully starchy, and when you toss your pasta with your sauce, in a frying pan or some other type of shallow pain, use tongs, and add a little bit of the starchy water to get the consistency you like.  This was a perfect summer pasta, hearty, yet light, full of flavor, and refreshing.

Just a little something to get your holiday weekend going—Jon is working, so I am on my own meal wise this weekend.  Just a little plug for my cousin, Lady has a booth at the Brooklyn Flea on Sunday, she is selling original cloths, I believe some furniture, and fabrics!  She is a fabulous designer, come get a Lady Soule original while you can.  Plus, the food carts at the Flea are to die for!  Check it out here: The Williamsburg Flea

Hope your memorial day is safe, fun, and of course, delicious!

Lingune alla vongole—Urban Chef Style
1 box De Cecco Linguine
½ cup olive oil
24 Little neck clams
5 cloves of garlic
1 cup of dry white wine
½ lb of pancetta
½ cup of flat leaf parsley
3T crushed red pepper flakes

In large pot over moderately high heat bring a pot of water to a boil, when boiling, add salt, then add linguine and cook to 1 minute short of al dente according to package directions (pasta should still be quite firm).

Meanwhile, in large sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat 6 tablespoons extra- olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add clams and 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, 1/2 cup parsley, and the ham and simmer, uncovered, just until clams open, 7 to 8 minutes. 

Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain linguine and add to pan. Simmer, tossing occasionally, until linguine is just tender, about 1 minute. If necessary, add some of reserved cooking water to keep moist. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and extra-virgin olive oil, tossing to coat.

Transfer to large bowl and serve family style.


  1. MMmmm, this sounds fantastic...need to figure out what a reasonable, non-pork substitute for pancetta would be...that will be a challenge.

  2. When Jon doesn't want to use pancetta, he uses turkey bacon! He did that the one time he made mussels for you, Rozie and me. It works great!