Pasta recipes featuring clams offer a delicious twist on more conventional dishes. However, cooking with fresh clams can be a bit intimidating, especially for those unfamiliar with the techniques necessary to prepare these tasty mollusks. Fortunately, there's a convenient yet tasty alternative likely available at your favorite grocery store: canned clams.
While many chefs will tell you fresh is always better, that's not necessarily the case with canned clams. With canned varieties, you get the amazing seafood flavor you're after without the hard work. Also, consider the wide variety of canned clams readily available. For pasta dishes, Italian-style clams packed in white sauce might be your best bet. Depending on the recipe, you may need to choose between chopped or whole clams. You can also select from ocean or sea clams, each with their own unique characteristics. Choose ocean-sourced clams for a more robust flavor and toothsome texture, and opt for sea clams when you want the other flavors of the recipe to take center stage.
Canned Clams Are Convenient And Versatile
Incorporating canned clams into pasta dishes eliminates the meticulous process of shucking fresh clams — plus, they're shelf-stable and tend to be the more affordable option. Using canned clams also allows you to choose from a wide range of flavors and varieties, and they're pre-cooked, so there's no concern about undercooking your protein.
For instance, a recipe may call for minced or chopped clams, both of which are readily available at most supermarkets. Minced clams are cut incredibly small, beneficial for infusing pasta with a remarkable seafood flavor fully. In contrast, chopped clams are a bit larger and offer a satisfying chewiness, enhancing the dish's texture. As for whole canned clams, they can be added to recipes as-is, or cut to the desired size.
Regarding flavors, smoked canned clams introduce a savory, roasted taste that adds a layer of complexity to dishes. If you prefer the natural seafood flavor of clams to dominate, choose canned varieties packaged in water. And if you're unsure which variety will best suit your pasta dishes, feel free to experiment until you discover the perfect match.
Tips On Great Clam And Pasta Pairings
In addition to the variety of canned clams, there are also many types of pasta that pair beautifully with this delicious mollusk. When it comes to classic Italian preparations, spaghetti alle vongole is hard to beat. Thin spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente, are the perfect vehicle for soaking up all the deliciously briny clam juice. White wine is also included to add a bit of brightness to the sauce, pairing beautifully with the seafood.
If you're a fan of Asian cuisine, you're bound to love drunken clams and noodles. This preparation features ramen noodles and rice wine, along with garlic, ginger, Thai chiles, Thai basil leaves, and many other flavorful ingredients. The resulting soup boasts a plethora of bold flavors and pleasing textures, including a significant salty dimension thanks to the inclusion of seafood. With canned clams, you can create an excellent pasta dish any night of the week without any hassle.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.