Steamed mussels and clams are perfect for a crowd. Compared to a lot of seafood, they’re cheap, they’re a cinch to make and best of all, tasty. I also really like informal dinner parties and you can’t get more casual than everyone digging and dunking out of a big bowl in the middle of the table. Slurping broth from a clam shell is a great equalizer.
Over the weekend, we had our friends, Karen and Tom, over for dinner and we made a big pot of Garlicky Mussels and Clams along with a Corn, Tomato and Basil salad. With some good bread, a decent bottle of wine (or 3), it was a good night.
We did end up with a lot left over since someone couldn’t make it (‘sup Eric! You were expecting a leftover delivery, huh?). Well, we selfishly kept the leftovers to make this the next night. The best part is, it only takes as long as the pasta takes to cook.
- Leftover mussels and clams in broth
- ½ lb dried linguini
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chicken stock (if you don’t have a lot of clam broth leftover)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
- Boil water for pasta, season well with salt. Any long, dried pasta will work well here (spaghetti, fettuccine, linguini). Use whatever you have.
- Remove the leftover mussels and clams from their shells and reserve with any remaining broth.
- Drop in pasta and cook it about a minute less than the box says. You want it a bit underdone.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, using low heat, warm the mussels and clams in the remaining broth slowly. Don’t boil them or they’ll turn into rubber bands. Not good. If you don’t have enough liquid, you could add a bit of chicken stock. For ½ lb of pasta, you’ll want about a cup of broth for sauce. If you want a slightly thicker, richer sauce, add a tablespoon of cold butter and stir the sauce as it melts.
- Once the pasta is ready, add it to the pan and let it cook for another minute or so in the broth. Toss it around so it gets coated with the sauce. Divide into two bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with parsley and serve.