Friday, September 16, 2005

2 dishes

For lunch:

Hot clams alla vodka
A can of minced clams, with their juices
A few canned tomatoes (San Marzano=molto bene)
Olive oil
Garlic, lots, sliced
Parsley, a few handfuls, chopped
Heavy cream, a little
Chile-infused vodka, a couple of shots' worth
1/4 lb. pasta (you see farfalle above because that's what was in the pantry)
Parmesan cheese (the horror!)

Boil the pasta according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, heat up the oil and garlic in a pan and before the latter browns, add the tomatoes and lots of salt. Cook for a few minutes. When the pasta is two or three minutes short of cooked, add most of the parsley, the clams and their juices, the cream, and the vodka and crank the heat all the way up. When the pasta is cooked, toss it in the pan with your sauce and taste to correct for seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.

Now the part about the cheese: my sense from watching too much Molto Mario is that Italians consider the grating of hard cheeses over seafood pastas to be an offense against nature and national pride. (I can understand. As a Jew, I have to put up with foods--blueberry bagels leap to mind--whose very existence are a threat and insult to my people.) The Italians' reasoning, by which I mean Mario's reasoning, is that the delicate flavor of a shrimp or clam is liable to be overwhelmed by the tour de force that is Parmaggiano or Pecorino, with its salty, umami, sharp, and rich appeal to the palate. I grant this point. But my dish is made with canned clams, spicy vodka, heavy cream, and tomatoes, and I can't see how a few little shavings of cheese is going to overwhelm this potent array of flavors.

For dinner:

Pizza Margherita
The rest of the can of tomatoes, whizzed in the food processor with some dried oregano, salt, and pepper
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Basil, about twenty leaves
Half a batch of pizza dough

Stretch the dough out into a big circle, cover with a thin layer of tomatoes and top that with cheese. Bake until the crust is nice and brown and spread the basil leaves over the top. A nice additional touch: a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt.

Happy weekend!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm, that close up of the pizza base looks good.

8:06 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home