14 May, 2010

Seconds on Chianti.

Well, at my house I'm the only wine drinker most nights (my husband prefers craft beer) so I still had some Chianti left over from the week's earlier dinner. I thought I would pair it with a tried and true pasta recipe that we turn to whenever we're too lazy to go to the store: Easy red clam sauce. I first found the recipe at Martha Stewart but I've made it so many times, and evolved it in the process that it's changed a bit from the original recipe. One of the great things about this recipe is that it uses pantry staples so it's always an option for a quick dinner.

Now, the pairing this with the DaVinci Chianti Riserva wasn't as inspired as I would have hoped. The wine was just too big for the sauce. I would have been better off trying to pair it with a lighter red (maybe a non- Riserva Chianti would have been more subtle) or a Sauvignon Blanc. Regardless, we'll be making this pasta for years to come.

Easy Red Clam Sauce with Pasta
Serves 2 a for main course
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 to 5 ounces of pasta
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 (6 ounce) chopped clams, drained
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • a pinch of hot red-pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a large covered pot, heat a gallon of water to a boil. When water boils, add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir well, and cover until boiling. Uncover, and boil until just tender to the bite all the way through.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a skillet (with a lid) large enough to hold the pasta later on, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and slowly cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add wine and reduce a bit to burn off some of the alcohol. Add tomatoes with their juice and red-pepper flakes. Stir, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes begin to break down. Just about a minute before you are ready to add the pasta, add the clams and give the sauce a stir. 
  3. Reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, drain pasta in a colander. Add the drained pasta, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste to the sauce, and mix well, adding a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water if needed to coat the pasta evenly. Cover, and cook 1 minute. Serve immediately.

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