Friday, October 8, 2010

Cherry Tomatoes Red Clam Sauce with Linguine with Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

The beginning of the summer Denis and I got a puppy named Cooper. He's honestly the cutest! So a few weeks ago our friends The Beeney's (Matt, Nicole and their cute little Pit,Maya) came over for dinner and we had a puppy playdate! This was the first time they met and it was super cute. I served Cherry Tomatoes Red Clam Sauce with Linguine and Grilled Caesar Salad. It was pretty yummy. I didn't really change anything but the clams, I used little necks instead of the Manila. The biggest difference is the size, littlenecks are slightly smaller than Manila clams. And don't be afraid of the anchovy ingredient it just adds a little something extra to the flavor and the anchovy taste is not strong in this recipe.

Since we had our dinner party/playdate at the end of the summer I used sunflowers to decorate the table with a yellow and blue color scheme. I love tablescaping!

Cherry Tomatoes Red Clam Sauce with Linguine
Rachael Ray
Serves 6
1 pound linguine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5-6 anchovies
1 pint small cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 stems oregano, leaves stripped and finely chopped
a handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
3 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn


Bring water to a boil for the pasta; salt the water and cook the pasta just shy of al dente

While the water comes to a boil, heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the anchovies and melt into the olive oil. And the tomatoes, onion and garlic to the pan and season with crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley and pepper. Saute until the tomatoes and onions are soft, 8-10 minutes.

Add the wine and reduce for 1-2 minutes, then melt the butter into the sauce and add the clams to pot. Cover the pot and cook the clams until they open, 6-7 minutes.

Remove any unopened clams and add the pasta to the pan. Toss the linguine with the sauce for about 2-3 minutes so the pasta absorbs the flavors. Add the basil to the pasta and taste to adjust the seasonings.

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light 15 Minute Recipes
Serves 4


1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 romaine hearts, cut in half lengthwise
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
4 (1-ounce) slices French bread baguette (1 inch thick)
Caesar Dressing (recipe follows)

1. Prepare grill

2. Coat romaine hearts with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat both sides of bread slices generously with cooking spray.

3. Place romaine and bread on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill romaine halves 4 to 5 minutes. Grill bread slices 3 minutes on each side or until toasted.

4. Arrange grilled crouton evenly over romaine halves; drizzle evenly with caesar dressing.

Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Yields 3/4 cups.

NOTE: I used a hand held blender to make it really smooth and blended.

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