I was looking forward to making this dish all day long. I knew I could get out of work at a decent time and I would be able to make it to Pacific Fresh Fish to pick up scallops before they closed. Thanks to WestJet they now receive fresh scallops on Wednesdays (their old carrier required them to order a large shipment which ain’t so good for having fresh scallops on a regular basis). It’s hard to get fresh ingredients here on the land locked prairies so it’s nice when it happens. I went to their store late on a Friday afternoon so I was getting frozen scallops anyway. No big deal. I really felt like having scallops. Pacific Fresh Fish doesn’t always have fresh clams so I took the opportunity to grab a pound if those as well.
Julianne is not a big fan of clams, however; what we’ve discovered is that she doesn’t like canned clams. Canned clams don’t hold a candle to fresh clams in the shell. Even though I know Julianne wasn’t big on clams I brought home some fresh clams and made a pasta with them. From that day on fresh clams were okay and canned clams were out. Like I said before. Fresh clams are not always available around here so they are a special treat.
Fresh clams are simple to cook. All you have to do is heat up some stuff in the pan to make a flavour base and add some liquid to generate steam. Add the clams and cover the pan up to keep the steam in. The clams are ready when they open up. They release the water that they have in their shells so you want to add salt after the clams are steamed in case they salt your sauce with sea water. Throw away any clams that don’t open up. The clam may have died in transport or before it was harvested. I’ve heard them called mud puppies before. Definitely not something you want to put in your mouth.
1/2 pound of spaghetti, linguine or other long thin pasta
12 large scallops
1 pound fresh clams
2 tomatoes – skinned and seeded
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
prosciutto – 3 or 4 slices (chopped)
1 cup strained tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil and parmesan cheese
In preparation I chopped the onions, garlic and prosciutto. I started off the cooking by pan searing the scallops in batches. Don’t cook the scallops all the way through. You just want to get some colour on them. Remove them from the pan when they look fantastic and set aside. Next, I threw in the onions, and once they were softened I added the garlic. I had a pot of water boiling and added my spaghetti. I let the garlic and onions cook for another minute and then I deglazed with the white wine and added the clams. I put a lid on the pan to keep the heat in and let the clams steam for a while. When the clams opened up I put the scallops back in along with some strained tomatoes and the prosciutto. The pasta was done (actually a little under done but that’s perfect since it’s going to finish cooking in the sauce) by this time so I drained it and dumped it in the pan with the sauce. It was finished up with some fresh tomatoes. Fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese were added at the table.