Bi-Linguinal


Linguini with Clamballs | Linguini with Fried Egg

“IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED….” So, there I was in Central Park, taking pictures of the beautiful snowfall (not so beautiful outside the park!) possibly still a little drunk from the night before, thinking about how the week’s weather had kept me from going all the way downtown and checking out new hotspot, The Meatball Shop.

So, having meatballs on the brain all week (an unfortunate turn of phrase, to say the least), I decided I would make my own for dinner, but switch it up by doing a Linguini with Clam Sauce version of it.

So, later that evening—after napping through my hangover—I opened three cans of chopped clams, manually mixed them in a large bowl with minced garlic, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and an egg, formed them into balls and began sautéing them in an oven-ready skillet to give them some initial color, then placed them in the over to finish.

I prepared half a box of linguine as instructed and strained them, meanwhile sautéing a two chopped anchovy filets in olive oil, then adding clam juice, lemon juice, and butter to make a nice sauce to then toss the linguini in, and then plate, placing a couple meatballs on top and spooning the remaining sauce on top.




I can be honest with my own cooking, always imagining I eat some else’s food for the first time. Honestly, all the right tastes were there, very reminiscent of a traditional Linguine with Clam Sauce flavors. Nice al dente pasta, great light-but-rich flavors of clam, garlic, herbs and lemon. The clamballs showcasing familiar big chunks of chopped clams, retaining most of their bite, texture, and “oceana”.

The one issue, major enough to almost ruin the dish, was that the meatballs wound up being dry. Not too dry, but they were not properly served by the drizzle of pan sauce on top of them.

It reminded me that regular meatballs made with any variety of ground meats that have natural fat content, and render meatballs with a large percentage of their moisture. These clamballs did not have that advantage, and made it feel like I was eating two wholly separate dishes. Maybe next time I mix in some chopped bacon and braise them in the sauce before adding to the dish. The idea was a success; it’s execution, not so much.

Fortunately, this morning I woke up with a much clearer head, and having some plain, cooked linguini leftover, some anchovies as well, and some scallions, I decided to make a breakfast dish with those ingredients!

I doubt pasta for breakfast is a new thing, but it’s not common, and for the life of me, I’ve never figured out why that was. (Don’t you remember your 6th grade health teacher informing how a slice of pizza was a better, healthier breakfast than pancakes or a donut?)

I, again, sautéed a couple anchovies in olive oil, then added some thinly sliced scallions and butter, tossed in the leftover pasta, and stirred it over the heat for about 2 minutes, finishing with parmesan cheese. I topped it with a sunny side up egg—dusted with paprika—and topped the whole dish with fresh cracked pepper and more parmesan.




Success at last! This time the flavors and texture were perfect, with the al dente pasta soaking up the layered flavors of the savory, herbal olive oil, creamy butter, sharp, salty anchovy, and sweet scallions. Once sliced into, the warm, “oozy” egg yolk, made a perfect sauce to pull all of the elements of the dish together.




Old school carbonara used to be finished with a raw egg placed on top of the hot pasta and cream sauce, and get stirred in to thicken. The yolk kind of had the same effect, and the dish overall was such a success—to me, at least—that it is officially going into my “repertoire”.

Bun Apple Tea!

.kac.


Linguini with Clamballs | Linguini with Fried Egg



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