Trenette with Mussels and Clams

Trenette con Cozze e Vongole

Trenette with Clams and Mussels 3

Just when you think you’ve got all bases covered, The Fates take note and decide to have a little fun. I have been busily at work getting recipes and posts together for the next several weeks. With my trip fast approaching, I don’t want any loose ends to complicate matters. Having posts written and scheduled means that my attention, such as it is,  can be diverted elsewhere with minimal affect to the blog. That was the plan and, with everything in place, I went to the fishmonger.

How was I to know that there would be a sale on clams and mussels? More to the point, how was I supposed to ignore the sale on clams and mussels? The truth is, I couldn’t. I left the shop with a bag full of mollusks and a head full of pasta ideas. On the way home, I stopped at a grocery and bought everything I needed to make today’s dish. Afterwards, I wrote this post and inserted it here, shifting the other posts to accommodate it.

So why the schedule change? Asparagus. It’s coming into season and the green stalks are every bit the star of today’s dish as are its shelled companions. You may not find clams or mussels on sale but you’re sure to see plenty of asparagus. It makes a wonderful addition to just about any pasta that you might prepare in the weeks ahead.

At this point, you would think that all’s well with my schedule and I can rest easy. Oh, how little you know of The Fates. Having finished adjusting the posts to accommodate the new entry, I searched for my soft shell crab pasta recipe to use as the déjà vu photo for today’s post. It was nowhere to be found. I soon discovered that although it had been included in the cookbook, the recipe never made it to the blog. Curses! With soft shell crabs currently in season, that recipe needs to be posted and the recipe has been inserted into the schedule for next time. Once again, all subsequent posts have been shifted to make room for the new guy. One step forward, two steps back.

*     *     *

Trenette with Clams and Mussels 1

*     *     *

Trenette with Mussels and Clams Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) trenette pasta – spaghetti or linguine may be substituted
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or diced
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • about 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb littleneck clams, soaked to remove grit and scrubbed (See Notes)
  • 1 lb mussels, scrubbed with beards removed
  • 1/2 lb of fresh asparagus, chopped into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
  • 2 tbs fresh basil chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • roasted bread crumbs for garnish – optional  (See Notes)
  • fresh parsley for garnish

*     *     *

Trenette with Clams and Mussels 4

*     *     *

Directions

  1. Begin heating a large pot of salted water to be used to cook the pasta.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and wine. Stir well to combine.
  5. Continue cooking until most of the wine has reduced and the tomatoes have broken down — about 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Add the asparagus and basil, stir, and then add the clams. Cover the frying pan.
  7. Add the pasta to the boiling water. (See Notes).
  8. About 2 minutes later, add the mussels to the frying pan and cover again.
  9. The mussels and clams should be opening at just about the time the pasta is nearing al dente – about 4 to 5 minutes.
  10. Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan. Toss to combine. Continue cooking until the pasta is cooked to your satisfaction.
  11. Place the frying pan’s contents into the serving bowl. Be sure to remove and discard any unopened clams and mussels. When in doubt, toss it out!
  12. Garnish the dish with toasted bread crumbs and parsley before serving. Please, no cheese for this seafood dish.

*     *     *

Empty Molluscs

*     *     *

Notes

Unlike years ago, most clams bought today from retail outlets have already been purged of sand, or so I’ve heard. That’s not the case, however, if you harvest your own or buy them along the shore. Even so, I still soak my clams to give them a chance to eliminate any sand. To do this, place the clams in a bowl of cold, fresh water and allow them to soak for a half hour or more, changing the water mid-way through. This is not the only way, however, and some advise that salt water is better at getting clams to discharge their sand. In both camps, there are some who believe that a bit of cornmeal will speed the process.

Do you remember last week’s baked calamari post? At the time, I advised making extra breading and reserving all of it left in the roasting pan once the calamari were removed and served. Well, this is one of the reasons why I suggested saving it. Rather than toast some breadcrumbs to garnish your pasta, grab some of these reserved breadcrumbs instead. They’re already cooked so either let them come to room temperature or nuke ’em for about 30 seconds before using. They are a great source of seafood flavor for your pasta.

This recipe is based on cooking dried pasta with an al dente cooking time of about 6 minutes. When I made the dish pictured, I used fresh trenette pasta that I had made just about an hour before cooking. Freshly made pasta cooks in 2 to 3 minutes. As a result, I waited an additional 2 minutes before adding it to the boiling water.

*     *     *

It’s déjà vu all over again …

Asparagus Ravioli Deja vu

WIth this post’s mention of asparagus, it would be a missed opportunity should I not point you to another asparagus-related post. Made with asparagus, crimini mushrooms, and freshly made ricotta, these ravioli are a great springtime dish, whether served as a starter or main course. You can learn how to make the ravioli HERE.

*     *     *

Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Trenette with Soft Shell Crabs and Morels Preview

Trenette with Soft Shell Crabs and Morel Mushrooms

*     *     *

Advertisements

149 thoughts on “Trenette with Mussels and Clams

  1. Impromptu cooking… the best!…envy your vongole: here in London they are ridiculously expensive so I never buy them, mussels on the contrary are ok. English asparagus should start soon, hopefully + mega thumbs up for the breadcrumbs topping: nice southern Italy touch, very tasty and goes well with the seafood. I think this dish would also be excellent in bianco: just seafood and asparagus. I will try the combination (minus vongole). stefano

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Stefano. ver the last few years, vongole have become much more readily available here. Perhaps it’s due to the rise in Foodies looking to replicate meals they’ve enjoyed in restaurants or seen prepared on the cooking shows.In the end, I don’t ask why. I’m too busy enjoying the bounty. I must admit, though, that you and my blogging buddy, Stefan, were both correct when you mentioned this dish would do well in bianco. My next post is another trenette recipe and will be in bianco. I included tomatoes here just for a change of pace. With the ingredients of both dishes in season now, I’m sure to mix and match the 2 recipes several times before we bid farewell until next year.
      I hope you’re having a great week!

      Like

  2. Your misfortune is our good fortune … what a fab recipe and the English asparagus season, as Stefano says, should begin soon. I check our asparagus patch daily, impatiently, waiting for the spears to pop up. Good tip on the breadcrumbs, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We still are a couple of weeks away from locally grown asparagus but our markets are stocked with spears from the southern states. Our farmers markets open the first week of May and they will feature table after table of asparagus. Gotta love it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. what a lovely looking dish! but i must add that being that i was born and raised on an island and lived on clams and mussels that were always cooked in saltwater and always had sand in them – imagine my great horror when i moved to the interior of canada and all of the shellfish was farm-raised and had no sand in them?!?!?!? oh the horror?!?!?!?! now that i am back on my island, me and hubby go clamming, pick mussels and snails and cook them pronto. there is nothing like biting into a juicy mussel (or clam or snail) and feeling the gritty ocean sand in your teeth. deevine i say.

    oh and i’m a purist. i eat my mussels, clams, lobster, shrimp, snails, etc. with butter. that’s it. no fancy pasta and certainly no asparagus messes with my shellfish. but your dish does look delish and i would eat it even though i would find no sand in my shellfish. i would be disappointed…but probably still really enjoy it.

    each to his own, right?

    Liked by 1 person

      • i think it’s an island thing Stefan! and as i grow my own spinach and greens and water them regularly, especially before picking them…there is never any dirt on them. radishes, green onions, carrot and beets that i grow myself – i just wipe them off on my shirt and eat them – dirt and all.

        Liked by 1 person

    • If I could get shellfish that fresh, I wouldn’t mind a little sand either. I’m 1000 miles from the nearest coast, however, and that’s quite a drive to go clamming. It’s probably just as well. If I lived any closer, mollusks along the coast would soon be declared endangered species. I’ll stay here for the good of the mollusks. 🙂
      Thanks for the visit, Kymber, and for taking the time to leave a great comment.

      Like

  4. Oh John, you know this is right up my street! Knowing how good the breadcrumbs are and knowing I can probably get the mussels and clams I think this is definitely a dish to try – might have to wait for my son to get back from UK as he might not forgive me! Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you caught the suggestion to save the breadcrumbs. When I first asked Zia to put some aside, she saved about a tablespoon, much to my horror. The next time, I insisted she make much more. It was only after I served them atop pasta did she realize what I meant. Needles to say, now we’ve both got bags of “excess” breadcrumbs in our freezers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, MD. My blogging schedule is normally rather fluid. This is the first time I actually tried to get a couple months worth of posts written and on the calendar. I’ve a feeling it will be some time before I try this again. 🙂

      Like

  5. Since it is steamer clam, mussel and asparagus season here in the Northwest, I must try this! It just looks and sounds so yummy! Two questions…why do you suggest, no cheese and do you and your Zia converse in Italian, English or both? I can just imagine your wonderful conversations when discussing recipes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Chris. Sounds like a good time to be in the Northwest. I’d go nuts! The use of cheese on a seafood pasta has always been frowned upon in Italy. It’s not just a custom but there’s reasoning behind it. Many kinds of seafood are mildly flavored. Using strong cheeses like Parmigiano or Pecorino will overpower the delicate flavors. especially when using Italian vongole, a small and incredibly sweet clam. I always order seafood when In Italy and, more times than not, the waiter set my plate in front of me while he tells me “No cheese.” The rule is not so hard-and-fast these days and a bit of grated cheese is sometimes “allowed” on dishes where the flavors are strong, like pastas containing sardines or anchovies. The bottom line: if you want cheese on your pasta, put cheese on your pasta. What’s the worst that can happen, a waiter’s raised eyebrow? 😉

      Like

  6. You’re one of the few cooks I know who uses trenette. Lovely pasta shape, isn’t it? And you’ve taken simple pasta with clams and/or mussels to a new height with the addition of asparagus! Haven’t done that before, although you know I will. Should note that I hesitate to call past with clams/mussels simple — it’s easy to do, of course, but the flavor is SO complex. Really. Good. Stuff. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. I make trenette because it most closely resembles the pasta Mom cut by hand when I was a boy. Watching her was something to behold. She’d have a long sfoglia — a dough sheet folded repeatedly upon itself — and would use a sharp knife to cut noodles from one end to the other. Each cut just a hair less than linguine, Mom would carry on a conversation while her knife made quick work of that sfoglia. I can still hear her knife on the pasta board. It’s a shame that, with as much pasta that was made almost daily in that two-flat, not one photo or movie survives. Why waste film on such a common event? ARGH!

      Like

  7. Hi John! I know you feel that The Fates were messing you around but the good thing is, we end up with some extra recipes!!
    You know me and seafood, and so I will probably will never summon up enough courage to try these but I will say that your seafood pastas always look fabulous. If you didn’t live so far, I’d let you cook for me and make me a seafood lover 🙂
    We almost came to Chicago instead of going to the Pacific West. I was definitely I going to contact you 🙂
    Next time for sure!

    Nazneen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stefan. In an earlier attempt with the dish, the clams weren’t ready and the mussels were. The 2 minute delay solved the problem the next time. There was a time, not so long ago, when a failed attempt with clams meant I’d have to wait a few weeks, at least, before I could find clams again. Not now, thank heavens. Bless my fishmonger!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh and PS I haven’t tried asparagus with mussels or clams before, but I should. I agree with Stefano it would be nice ‘in bianco’. Somehow asparagus and tomato don’t belong together as much, but that could be just a matter of color 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great minds think alike and you are both right, of course. The truth is that my next post is a pasta dish prepared in bianco and I was afraid that the morels might be overpowered if I added tomatoes to that dish. So, I added tomatoes to this one just to mix things up a bit. These ingredients will only be here a few weeks and I mix them several times while they’re available.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Ronit, and I thank my Dad for that. As a boy, we often accompanied him to the markets on Sunday mornings and he alway chose what was in season. He and Mom would later figure out how to prepare them but if you choose the freshest ingredients, half the battle is won. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your photos are fa-bu-lous! I am CRAVING pasta right now – and also craving the asparagus + mushroom + ricotta ravioli. (Suddenly my lunch is looking very plain…) That’s one thing I notice about your pasta posts: Whenever you post about pasta, I’m indulging in it within the next 24 hours.

    Thanks for the tips re: timing. It sounds well choreographed, the way you’ve presented it to us. I always glom onto those timing tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gee, thanks, Ruth. My photography is, at best, hit or miss. (Even the blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again.) I am glad to hear you enjoy the pasta posts. You’ve taught me so much about filmdom that it’s nice to return the favor occasionally. By the way, there’s another pasta dish coming in 2 weeks. Get ready! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, we do agree, Judy. Maybe because our winters are so severe and locally-grown fresh vegetables non-existent, those green spears mean so much to us. It’s a favorite time of the year for me.

      Like

  10. I can see the spring light already in your photos, it’s so lovely. Indeed, fate has a way of altering our expectations and this one was totally positive, thank goodness. The clams and mussels definitely spoke to you because the resulting dish is outstanding! Reserving the toasted breadcrumbs is genius, I usually make too much anyway and I end up trashing them but I definitely won’t in the future. On a semi-related note, I once looked up how to purge snails harvested from the garden (yes, I did!) and discovered that you have to put them in a bucket with plain iceberg lettuce and leave them for a week. They eat the lettuce and purge the sand and miscellaneous garbage and you are left with squeaky clean lettuce-flavoured snails. Apparently, different cultures purge their snails with different greens thereby giving the snails a particular flavour. Needless to say, I did nothing of the sort! I had no intention of wading through snail poop after a week of purging, god knows what that would have looked like! So I also buy cultivated mussels and clams!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it is good to see some “useable” light again. As you very well know, winter food photography can be so very frustrating! Last Sunday morning, for the first time this year, sunlight was streaming through my windows as I sat at my Mac. It means that the sun has travelled far enough south to be a “problem” in the mornings. This is one problem I love to see.
      Although we served snails a few times when I was a boy, they were dormant when bought. Mom would soak them overnight in water treated with a bit of vinegar, I believe, to coax them out of their shells and to aid in the purge process. Then came the scrubbing, soaking, boiling, and re-scrubbing before the actual cooking began. Small wonder we only had them very sparingly. Now, if I’ve a taste for snails, I buy them in a can. I’ve seen them prepared from scratch and I don’t need to have a more active role in it than opening a can. Clams and mussels, though, are a different story. Being so far inland, it isn’t likely that we’ll get mollusks that aren’t cultivated. Even so, I love them so that I’ll clean them and be happy to do so. Call it a labor of love. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • This is one of a few pasta dishes to welcome spring, Betsy. In reality, any pasta that features the first of spring’s harvest is sure to be good. They’re an entirely different form of comfort food from what we’ve enjoyed during the prior 4 or 5 months and I love ’em all! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. *almost tears in my eyes from laughing’ – Was actually writing to a dear bf up your way y’day pm when a carload of unexpected ‘real’ friends’ turned into my driveway. Well, it would be fun to compare notes ’cause this is roughly what they got for an early dinner 🙂 !! Sins committed ’cause the seafood was frozen and thus inevitably second-rate to yours – and no asparagus, but, oh boy, was it yummy. [Anyone from Down Under reading: do try Coles frozen ‘Marinara mix’ 1Kg: white bag . . . if one lives rurally this is the bestest I have found: OK, it has some v nice mussels and fish also, but . . .] . . . and, John, Have you ever thought of having small groups in your own kitchen for some tried and true Nonna/Zia recipes – one of my NJ Italiano friends does [just 3-5 at a time], fun and it does bring in an extra dollar . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • The “post schedule shuffle” is a game I play regularly. I find I need a calendar overview to keep it in control! Just love this market to plate pasta sauce. The calamari last week were either frozen or finger size, so that recipe is still in the todo list. I hope I have better luck with clams

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Post schedule shuffle” is a great way to refer to what I’ve put myself through, Sandra. Funny thing is that I’m never this organized. Sure, I always have a couple recipes in reserve but never have I gone to the calendar and scheduled things. Judging by how well it went this time, I doubt if I’ll be going down thats path again any time soon..
        You’re wise to ignore the tiny calamari. Granted, your fingers are certainly smaller than mine but filling the tubes would still be a pain. Then, to add insult to injury, they would shrink even more while being baked. It’s a sad sight opening the oven door to reveal tiny morsels. Good luck with the clams. We’re lucky in that clams are far more available today than they were a few short years ago and I can’t figure out why. We’re no closer to the coast than we ever were but, then again, why question? They’re here and I’m making pasta!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve taken advantage of the packs of frozen mixed seafood, too, Eha. If I wish to make myself a frutti di mare pasta or risotto, it’s ridiculous to go to the fishmonger and buy 3 clams, 4 mussels, 4 shrimp, etc., when I can get them all in one bag, so long as they’ve been quick-frozen. Even so, I avoid the packs with imitation whatever. I don’t mind taking a shortcut but that stuff is one bridge too far.
      Sounds like you and your friends had a wonderful time together. Sometimes, an impromptu affair is the most fun. Expectations are low and the good times just seem to flow.
      I’ve heard of others opening their homes for dinners. In fact, there’s an app gaining popularity here where you post what you’ll be serving, when, and the price. People will make reservations and you’re off. I couldn’t open my home to strangers like that and, as it is, I’ve already had friends and their friends for dinner. I don’t know if I could start charging for something that I enjoy so much, gathering friends and family at my table. Besides, what ever would I do with Max? My friends know and love him but strangers? Just how much liability insurance would I need? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, since I most decidedly almost never ‘cook’ for ‘strangers’; and, in your case, would have darling and rather spoiled Max as my primary taster, methinks that part of this would come not come into the conversation :D!! Actually that particular ‘pack’ was ‘accidentally’ such and oh so worthwhile buying and having in the freezer . . . Will be rebought in my circumstances 🙂 !

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra, living in Brissie, you won’t have to . . . but the ‘Coles’ mix which I bought accidentally, was clean, large pieces, easily separated [ie you could pick out different seafood and use them separately and the mussels were unreal!] and very moreish when cooked: I actually just sautéed what I wanted in butter from frozen state for a few minutes a few times with herbs and it tasted like it had come from the Sydney Fishmarket!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Asparagus season is coming here–fortunately, I can get mussels and clams now too–love all those things, but never had them together. I’ve not used trenette either. I think I feel a trip to an Italian specialty store coming on. I’m looking forward to sampling this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trenette is a “ribbon” pasta that is just a hair thinner than linguine. Of all the paste, it is the one that most closely resembles the pasta that Mom cut by hand countless times when I was a boy. If I close my eyes, I can still here her knife cutting the noodles, each identical to its predecessors. I found an attachment to my hand cranked pasta machine and made a batch for Zia. She agreed that this was closest to the pasta they made back in the day and I bought her the attachment for her machine, too.
      Please don’t stress out, though, if you cannot find the exact same noodle. Linguine would do nicely and I’m sure Mom wouldn’t mind. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks!

        I like the idea of slightly thinner than linguine. I was recently in Alexandria VA, and had a delicious meal with mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops, over pasta. I think that might have been trenette–it was very nice with that dish. Linguine is always a possibility, but I think this dish is worth a trip to Capri Flavors for me.I’m between indexes so it would make a pleasant interlude. I really liked the texture of that pasta–I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t seem like linguine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. This looks absolutely scrumptious! I’m a huge shellfish fan, but have never been brave enough to use shellfish in my cooking. Maybe the odd scallop here or there, but that’s it. Now, I do live in a pretty landlocked part of Canada, and the sea is far away, but your post makes me think I shouldn’t let that get in my way. And fresh, local asparagus is something I’ll be able to count on…you’ve got me thinking, John! Happy travels!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I know what you mean about serving shellfish. I once became sick while in Europe after having a fabulous paella for lunch. Even so, that hasn’t stopped me from using them whenever I want. Just be sure to inspect them before and after cooking. Before cooking, toss any that have broken/cracked shells or that do not firmly close if you tap them on a countertop. You do not want to cook a dead mollusk. Once cooked, toss any that do not open during the cooking process. Do not take any chances. If in doubt. throw it out. Granted, with shellfish there are no 100% guarantees but this is about as close as you’ll get. By the way, if you’re ever served shellfish that aren’t open, do not eat them and let the waiter know about it. The chef should pull them before the dish is brought to your table.
      I certainly hope I’ve not put you off cooking shellfish. I’ve gotten sick from them and never even consider it now. This truly is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • You know, I have never been so organized with this blog. Sure, I may have a couple recipes in reserve but never has a schedule been prepared. Judging by how well this went. I shan’t be doing it again anytime soon. 🙂
      It really was my lucky day when I entered the fishmonger when he was having that sale. Bless him! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Scheduling several weeks worth of posts is quite an undertaking. I have tried, but was never able to go beyond 4 weeks. Very delectable mussels and clams pasta dish. Sprinkling some of that roasted breadcrumbs really adds fun to the dish. I am so looking forward to the trenette with soft shell crabs and morel mushrooms. I have had soft shell crabs in restaurants, but never spotted them in the market. Where would one obtain them from? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Fae. Garnishing pasta with toasted bread crumbs is a Sicilian custom that I really like. For years, finding soft shell crabs was a hit-or-miss deal, and then I discovered my fishmonger. Now, I’m visiting him regularly during the spring, where I buy ramps, asparagus, morels, and yes, soft shell crabs. Since he also supplies some of Chicago’s best known seafood restaurants, I don’t think I have to worry about hit leaving any time soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Looks like you are suffering from an embrassment of riches! Lucky you – and lucky us. This post made me recall coming home one day after high school and opening the fridge to find something to eat, only to be faced with a bowl of hissing clams! I guess those were the days when clams came with the sand still in…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Asparagus!! One of my all time favorite veggies and now I have a new dish to try it in. I love that your recipes outline the timing of everything, I have a tough time “bringing everything together” cooked just right all at the same time. I wonder if we have a sale on here too:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Barb, and I, too, love asparagus season. I never can seem to get my fill. Pasta dishes like today’s are pretty easy to pull together. There aren’t many ingredients and that makes things so much easier. Best of all, you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes — and it’s a fantastic dinner, at that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lucky for us readers that the Fates did step in… this looks sooo enticing! After reading through the ingredients, I just know I’d love every bite. Love your memory of your Mom cutting this pasta in your comment above. ❤ Ahh memories…they keep me cooking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy. When I’m cooking some of the old family recipes, I can almost feel Mom peering over my shoulder. There are times when the only thing missing is the “Oh, that’s how you do it.” In Mom speak, that means that I messed up. 🙂

      Like

  18. Thats what happens all the time . that darn fate just keeps interrupting. But John, how i would love some of this Trenette with clams asparagus or not . This is one of the most delicious things i can imagine…….

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Asparagus and Spring are reasons to feel joy- oh and reading your blog! Delicious and so thorough for even a novice, John.
    I never knew Trenette before but glad to learn.
    You must be excited for your trip. Cool that your blog posts are so organized and ready to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ruth. I love spring. It’s arrival means the return of some of my favorite foods. We’re just getting started …
      As for being organized, I’ve been back to the fishmonger and he’s been running more sales. I give up and will worry about the rest of the schedule when I get back home in May.

      Like

  20. Certainly you could not turn down the sale! Believe it or not the boys also love mussels and,clams, oysters too. Add in pasta like this and I think they might scream in excitement! We are headed out somewhere this weekend for a soft shell crab meal. Might have to get some at the market too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love that your boys enjoy clams and mussels! It was always a special night when I was their age and Mom served linguine with clams. Now, it’s a “must have” dish whenever I’m in Italy. By all means get the soft shell crabs. I’ve been back to the fishmonger and took advantage of his ongoing sale. Tonight’s dinner was a soft shell crab po’ boy. I’ll post the recipe in a month o so, once I get back from Italy. In the meantime, my next recipe is a soft shell crab pasta. This is one year I’m going to have my fill of soft shell crabs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. What a great combination, John! I must’ve met that I’ve never had asparagus in the seafood pasta, but why not? Especially when they’re all available at the same time. Without the asparagus, this reminds me very much of a pasta dish I had in the Cinque Terre in the early 90s. Now, I have to hope that mussels and clams are on sale here! Beyond on sale, I have a hope I can get them at all. That is the one downside to living in the desert…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll include asparagus in as many dishes as I can this time of year and never be sated. Love those green spears! It wasn’t that long ago, David, that I had a hard time sourcing clams, too. Cherrystones were more common but they really aren’t meant for a pasta dish like this one. Things are so much better now, however, and I enjoy them far more often. Cinque Terre is on my Italian bucket list. This past weekend, I decided to extend my upcoming trip a few days and use the time to make my first pilgrimage to my maternal grandparents’ village. That means that Cinque Terre will be part of my next trip’s itinerary. Everything in due time … 🙂

      Like

  22. I’ve never liked mussels, clams, oysters… anything in the ‘mollusc’ family! I’m wondering whether it’s just because I haven’t found good ones. Your recipe sounds delicious though, at the very least I would eat around those sneaky shells and devour the sauce, pasta, asparagus, breadcrumbs… yum! I love Sicilian toasted bread on pasta. It’s become a regular thing in our house, even when I make zucchini noodles (totally elevates the dish, despite possibly defeating the whole low carb idea from health bloggers, haha!). Another great post John. A beautiful celebration of Spring eating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laura. I’m sorry that mollusks aren’t necessarily your favorites. If you’re serious about wading back into that pool may I suggest trying smaller clams — manilas, vongole, littlenecks, or cockles — rather than the bigger ones. Many people prefer the smaller clams, finding them sweeter than their larger cousins. I wouldn’t try mussels just yet, however. They’re much stronger tasting and may be a bit much for you right now. C’mon in, Laura. The water’s fine. 🙂

      Like

  23. A sale on clams is just my kinda sale! I heart clams and always buy them when I see them. We went to Jamie Oliver’s Sydney restaurant last weekend and I had vongole with fresh pasta – it was heaven on a plate. Your version also looks exquisite. And always yes to asparagus!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and I are very much alike when it comes to clams. It is one of the first dishes I order when I find myself in Italy and I would certainly order it from Jamie. Love his recipes! Seeing a sale on clams at the fishmonger was a sign from heaven: “Buy these, John!” Now, I’ve been back to that shop and I’m getting messages about the soft shell crabs, also on sale. How can I say no? Seriously. How? I’m going to go through some serious withdrawal if I don’t stop the madness. But, oh, what a way to go! 🙂

      Like

  24. Did not know what trenette is had to look it up, when next I go to the food market must check if it is in the pasta aisle. Asparagus should be in season soon, so this dish will be on the table in the very near future. I still have plum tomatoes in the freezer will those work or is it better to use fresh?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I have a big smile…. Let’s say that misery loves company and I was also hit by The Fates…. You will have to wait for my post next week to see what I am talking about…..😜😜😜😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cannot wait, Sally … The Fates weren’t done with me yet, however. I won’t say much other than I give up trying to plan things. Yes, it has been a hassle but I sure have been eating well. 🙂

      Like

  26. I really admire how you organize your posts, John. I also really appreciate how thorough you are in presenting your recipes. Even though fresh seafood is easily accessed in my locale, my mother and grandmothers only served fish if breaded and it came from a box! Through the years I learned how to work with fresh fish filets, but when it comes to fresh clams or mussels I’m completely intimidated. This is a recipe I would really like to try and your instruction is so clear I think I can do it! And I’m with you on asparagus this time of year. I can’t get enough. The asparagus and crimini mushroom ravioli is equally tantalizing. If I were your neighbor I’d be showing up at dinnertime quite frequently. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Debra. I try to make these posts thorough enough to stand-alone. Although the same techniques are used again and again, I try to remember to explain them anew each time. I want people coming here for the first time to be able to cook Mom’s dish without having to search this blog for more ingormation or instructions. This time of year, i use asparagus in just about every dish. I cannot resist it. Can you imagine if we were neighbors? There’d be no holding me back if I had a frequent dinner guest. We’d be big as houses by the first season change. 😀

      Like

    • Thank you so much, Francesca. I love asparagus so much and include them in as many dishes as possible. Their season will end soon enough and I want to eat my fill before hand. 🙂

      Like

  27. Can you ship me some mussels and clams? Actually, just ship me a batch of this pasta dish! 🙂 Bobby would go bananas over this because is the shellfish and pasta eater. I like it, but he LOVES it and he’d be licking his fingers with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MJ, I really would if I could but, as you very well know, of all the things to ship, mollusks are probably among the worst. I don’t even want to think about what it wold be like to open that box. Yikes! Who knows? Today, shellfish are far more readily available here than they ever were. Maybe someday soon you’ll be saying the same about your area. Fingers crossed, eh? 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks, Dave. For vongole, Caputo’s is a good place to look. If you’re in the city, try the Fish Guy Market on Elston Ave. Join the mailing list. You never know. One day you may find yourself in the city and have the time to stop by. If you don’t see what you want or what’s listed on the newsletter, be sure to ask. Not everything is displayed. For me, that’s a very good thing. I spend enough without having them go to the back to get me more. 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks, Mary. This dish has all of my food groups: Pasta, mollusks, and asparagus. Add the glass of wine I was sipping throughout its preparation and you have the perfect meal 🙂

      Like

    • And rescheduling yet again, Mar. The 3rd time, though, was the last. I’ve given up. I have tomorrow’s ready and the one for my return after Italy. The rest will have to fight over which is next. I’m staying out of it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s too bad, Jasline, and I know your predicament all too well. I was in the same boat for years and would buy just about any that I found fresh. It changed for me. I hope it will for you, too.

      Like

  28. Pingback: TURKEY PORTOBELLO BURGER | Bewitching Kitchen

  29. Now you done it… psychologically you know you did not have to pass that fish monger but your body took you there as down deep scheduling posts is boring but cooking is so much more delicious. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip upon your return and the mean time I might just have to wonder to the aberdeen fish market today and pass by some asparagus… just saying. Take Care

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buona notte, BAM!
      Oh, it’s a disease and I’ve got it bad. Since writing this post, I’ve returned to the fishmonger twice, each time bringing home more shellfish and crabs. Worse, each shopping trip ended with me adjusting the schedule again. Well, not anymore. I quit! It was a fool’s errand trying to maintain a schedule when fresh foods are beginning to arrive. Once I come home from Italy, I’ll go back to writing and posting them, one dish at a time. It’s so much less stressful! 🙂
      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. il profumo delle tue cozze, caro John, si è sentito fino qui in Italia! oltre che una grande fantasia e una grandissima preparazione hai anche molto metodo e precisione, che assommato alle altri dote, portano il tuo lavoro ( ma sarebbe meglio chiamarla arte culinaria 🙂 ) al top.Hai anche un metodo semplice per guidare chi ti segue ad eseguire le tue ricette con estrema facilità! E’ sempre un grandissimo pioacere passare da te! Un caro saluto Annalisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, I try to make these recipe easy to follow so that the young cooks in my family can prepare them. These cooks never had the opportunity to watch Mom, Zia, or Nonna prepare the dishes like I did. If the recipe is easy to follow, they may be tempted to try to prepare them. Time will tell whether my plan will work.
      I noticed you signed your name “Annalisa”. I must remember that. 🙂 Have a wonderful week, my friend, Annalisa.

      Like

  31. Oh my, you’re killing me with these delicious shellfish recipes, John, that I can’t even touch! My deathly allergy to shellfish developed when I was 28 and I can only imagine in my memory how delicious these must be. (It is normally an ‘adult-onset’ allergy — and it stinks if you love fresh Italian seafood recipes)…..but at least I can still enjoy fresh (non-shell) fish! YUM!

    Happy Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Roz, and I am so sorry to learn of your allergy. Next to being told I must go gluten-free, losing shellfish would probably kill me. Well, you a very good cook with a wonderful repertoire in the kitchen. You may miss shellfish but it’s not like you’re eating PB&J in its place. In the meantime, let’s hope science comes up with something. 🙂

      Like

  32. Lovely friend, over here in Sydney, we’re now able to buy live, sustainably grown and harvested, shellfish for tiny dollars – 2kg of live Australian mussels (cleaned) cost less than $10 at (you guessed it!) Costco! 🙂 That’s nearly 5lbs of mussels for US$7.50. So I’m incredibly grateful for every clever recipe you post. We’re getting live pippis too, but they cost about twice as much – still a bargain though! Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I am very familiar with Costco’s offerings, Celia, and have bought shellfish from them in the past. Lately, though, my fishmonger has been offering some fantastic sales that I’m just too weak to pass up. As a result, I’ve been eating very well of late. I have to get my tummy ready for Italy, you know. 😀

      Like

  33. Maybe because I’m not very used to cooking shellfish, but I’m learning a whole lot of things from you. Thanks 🙂 I’m a huge asparagus fan and I can totally see it paired with shellfish in a yummy pasta dish like in your recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re learning from me? Now that’s quite a compliment. You’re such an incredible cook. Thank you. This time of year, I cannot resist adding asparagus to everything. I’m heading back to the fishmonger in a short while. I may be having a version of this dish again tonight. It’s an addiction. 🙂

      Like

  34. I’m starving – and does this ever LOOK GOOD!! I know what you mean about fate sometimes changing our plans. I broke my ankle last Friday… but the planned party still went on the next day. And, I’m ‘hoping’ to post a recipe for Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna…let’s see if I can do it with one leg.
    This will be a ‘quicky’ version compared to what you would do… I’ve purchased the ravioli, along with a bunch of other stuff delivered by Pea Pod to my home yesterday. I love it! But I hate, hate, hate having a broken ankle.. Grrr….

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s