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Favorite Summer Recipe: Spaghetti with Clams

Favorite Summer Recipe: Spaghetti with Clams

When my father moved to Cape Cod around 10 years ago, his obsession with fishing took on new meaning. He went from fly tying and fresh water fishing to tackling the big blue ocean for fish. He also started “fishing” for new catches. Shortly after he moved, he bought me my own lobster trap for my birthday, which he placed beside his. He did catch a few lobsters that we happily enjoyed until someone cut the lines on both traps – competition is tough on the Cape when it comes to lobstering!

He started harvesting oyster and digging for clams as well. Clams have a much longer season than oysters so we only really get to enjoy those in the fall. A few years ago, he began crabbing for his latest summer hobby. Will, my 6-year-old son, surprisingly loves this most! He asks about this any time we are gearing up to see Grampy.

Today, summertime means a nearly unlimited supply of clams and a couple bags full of crabs. The crabs he cooks in a seafood boil for us but the clams come straight from the ocean. I get phone calls throughout the summer indicating he’s been inspired to clam and has a bunch to give away. He opens up his Styrofoam cooler that is filled with fresh clams and encourages me to take many. They require a good cleaning and a little planning to fit into the week’s dinner menu but usually we can make this happen.

Washing out clams

Spaghetti with Clams Recipe

I have a favorite Martha Stewart go-to recipe for Spaghetti with Clams. It’s simply, easy to make and can be done from start to finish in about 30 minutes (assuming I’ve cleaned the clams ahead of time which are typically very dirty and can ruin the dish!).

Spaghetti with clam sauce recipeYou Need:

Coarse salt
12 ounces linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 pounds small clams (50 to 55), such as Manila, rinsed and scrubbed
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

Find full cooking instructions for Spaghetti with Clams on the Martha Stewart website.

What I love most about this dish is that I almost always have all the ingredients. On a night like tonight, even if I don’t have fresh parsley, I do have dried parsley which works fine. My daughter doesn’t eat the clams but she likes the pasta (don’t tell her the sauce is infused with the clam juice). My son actually doesn’t eat the pasta as much as he eats the clams and my husband and I enjoy the meal as a whole. It’s especially fun to eat because I know my dad spent some time harvesting a good portion of the ingredients. He’s so proud to share this with our family. I also love that the seafood my dad shares with us will forever have an impact on my kids. I’m pretty sure they will be talking about Grampy’s clams and crabs for many years to come, probably to their own children.

Do you have a favorite summer meal? Perhaps one with family ties?


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