Clams and Mussels Linguine. Spanish Chorizo and a Lager Reduction.


Today is Canadian Turkey Day. Is it ok to question its legitimacy? It was instated in 1957. That’s like yesterday. Why call it Thanksgiving and not celebrate it with the US the same day? No idea. In any case, people do observe it and it’s a national holiday and a great excuse to celebrate and eat a lot. But today I’m under the weather with the Canadian flu, and I don’t know anyone celebrating it so I will not be doing much cooking other than mixing water with some powdered vitamin C. It also happens to be the day the Americas were discovered by Mr. Columbus a few centuries ago. This guy, the story tells, was an Italian sailor who worked for the Spanish. Sketchy. Anyways, not that I planned it, but here it is, an Italian dish with some Spanish flare on Columbus Day. It also happens to be “Cookbook launch” Day and yesterday it apparently was “You go, girl” Day.  Celebration mood up in here.  

Ingredients: (servings: 2 time: 45mins)

1 pound of live mussels.
1 pound of live manila clams.
1/2 Can of your favourite lager beer.
1/4 C heavy cream.
4 garlic cloves. Thinly sliced.
300g Linguine. Dry.
50g Spanish chorizo. Thinly sliced.
1 tbs sweet paprika.
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Splash of fresh lemon juice.
Chopped basil or garlic. I would prefer parsley, but only had basil 🙂

The lager reduction. In a cast iron deep pot add the beer and the bay leaves and reduce  on medium heat until syrupy.  In a separate pan on medium high, sear the chorizo for a couple of minutes until it browns a bit. Turn the heat off and immediately add the garlic. Toss around. Don’t let the garlic brown.

The pasta. Cook the pasta in boiling salty water until al dente.  Salty like the ocean. I pre soak dry pasta about an hour before I start cooking. Allows me to use less boiling water and the cooking time is a shorter. The cooking is also more even because the pasta is easily submerged in the boiling water without anything sticking out. Almost like cooking fresh pasta 🙂

The sea creatures. Bring the chorizo and garlic into the cast iron pan where you reduced the beer. Add a couple of Tbsp of pasta water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the clams and the mussels and allow to steam for about 5 mins or until all the shells are open.

The creaminess. Add the cream and the chopped herbs. Stir and cook for another 2-3 mins without a lid. Allow the sauce to thicken. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

The pasta finally comes back in. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the strained pasta and toss until all is well incorporated. Splash of lemon juice.






Buon apetito!  get it?? 😉