Linguine with creamy no-clam sauce
Last week, my friend Brian asked me if I could come up with a recipe for a classic dish, linguine with clam sauce. I of course took the challenge, and I am so glad I did.
Now, this challenge didn't come without its, well, challenges. I wanted to recreate the dish, but obviously I knew it was not going to taste exactly like clams in that sauce. I mean, a clam tastes like a clam, and really, there is just no recreating the little pencil erasers. But, I had to try, and I wanted it to be close. I found that using fresh, shiitake mushrooms really gave me a close second to clams. They are a bit chewier, more earthy than its button cousin.
So, I started looking up the original recipes, and of course they have tons of oil, butter, and of course, clams. So, the oil and butter was not really an issue. My version of Parmesan cheese tastes like butter, so sprinkle that stuff on liberally, and poof, butter flavor.
I will post the recipe for the parm at the end of this post. Super easy, and it rocks on popcorn.
This recipe makes two servings if you are having a salad or other veggies with it. If not, and you are a pasta pig like me, it was a nice single serving. But, the happy part about that is you can eat this with no guilt, and your stomach will thank you.
I used white pasta for this photo shoot, but you could replace it with whole wheat of course, or even gluten free. It will not matter, the sauce is what matters.
I am going to split this recipe. You need to make the "heavy cream" first, so here are the ingredients for that.
Heavy cream ingredients:
1/2 c aqua faba from chickpeas
1 cup cooked (very cooked, like almost mushy) cauliflower
1 tsp. raw sugar
The rest of the ingredients:
12 oz. cooked linguine (I cooked according to package directions, and then rinsed well, set aside)
1/2 cup "clam juice" (1/2 cup water with 2 heaping teaspoons yellow miso, blended well)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped small (see illustration)
1/4 cup fresh, Italian parsley (flat leaf)
1 cup "heavy cream" (see ingredients above)
Before you start the recipe, make your "heavy cream" and "clam juice", just so they are ready when you need them.
Now, lets cook!
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the onions and garlic
Saute for 5 minutes. Stir non stop so nothing burns.
Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper next. Mix in well, and saute another 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add the "clam juice"
Stir in well, and continue to saute. You want to saute until most of the moisture is gone.
Now, add the "heavy cream" and stir well.
Stir around for about a minute, just to heat it up.
Add all but about a teaspoon of the parsley, and stir well.
The combination of the parsley and the "clam juice" really give a, well, fishy flavor for lack of better description. (but that is good, we want that)
Next, add the pasta, and stir in well, coating it with all that lovely sauce.
Now, serve! Two great garnishes are lemon slices and my yummy parm.
Recipe for my buttery parm:
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Place all in a blender and blend until powdery. Don't over-blend though, you don't want flavored nut butter.
Put in a shaker or bowl and spread it around whatever you want. :)
I hope you give this recipe a try. Like I said, if you make the sauces first, the whole thing comes together really fast. Also, make the pasta before you start, it helps having it ready.
Feedback is always welcome, good or bad, I am not offended if you hated it and want to tell me. :) Happy heart, happy life!