Pappardelle Alle Vongole.
I'm a sucker for a classic romance. I don't read a whole lot of current "chic lit" unless it comes highly recommended by a friend. But certain novels that were required reading in my high school literature class, have a close-to permanent position on my nightstand! I won't list them, as to not further peg myself as a sappy daydreamer.
I equally enjoy sitting down with couple-friends and hearing, or rehearing, the story of how they met. Some people were obviously just meant to be together! You can try to take all the "mush" out of it, if you want, telling yourself it's just happenstance. But I'm a big believer in DESTINY. It seems to me, that just believing your life has a purpose, can often bring about good things!
My husband and I were destined to be together. Of course, we could have married other people, but I'm fairly sure the world would be teetering off it's axis if that had happened! The hubs would tell you, in his most Forrest Gump-like voice, "We's like peas and carrots." He is the one person that I'm fully willing to put up with ...'til death do us part. And better yet, who is willing to put up with ME! He makes me laugh when I'm sad, and listens to my rants--even when I'm dead wrong. Then only attempts to correct me when he knows I'm ready to hear it. He is my best friend. I am a very lucky girl!
As with people, some things were just meant to be: robe and slippers, popcorn and movies, campfires and marshmallows, eggs and bacon, peanut butter and jelly, the list goes on and on. Classic combinations are comforting. A perfect pair creates a certain feeling of warmth and momentary bliss that leads to the making of memories. Our memories give the duo longevity, and in some cases, birth a legend.
Here is a classic combo that's withheld the test of time. Pappardelle Alle Vongole is a legendary marriage of pasta and clams. A rich, full-bodied dish with bright citrusy undertones. The noodles soak up the essence of the garlic, wine and delicate clam juices to create a true Italian masterpiece! It's traditionally made with spaghetti, but I had these fat pappardelle noodles that were just begging for clams! I couldn't say no to them. This dish is quick enough for a mid-week family meal, and dressy enough for a dinner party. Get ready to experience love at first bite!
Pappardelle Alle Vongole
1 12-16 oz. package of dried Pappardelle (or any long pasta)
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped pancetta
2 shallots, sliced thin
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lbs. fresh littleneck clams, well cleaned
1 Tb. chopped fresh rosemary
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. lemon zest
¾ cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
*Garnish with chopped parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. When hot, add the pancetta and shallots. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and rosemary. Saute another 1-2 minutes.
Add the clams, wine, red pepper, and lemon zest to the skillet. Salt and pepper; then cover. Drop the pappardelle in the boiling water.
Cook the clams for 7-8 minutes, until they are mostly open. Cook the pasta for 6-8 minutes until just “al dente”.
Add the cream to the clam sauce and stir. Then strain the pasta and add it straight to the clam sauce. Make sure to reserve a little pasta water. Stir the pasta and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss. If the sauce is thicker than desired add a little pasta water. Throw out any clams that didn’t open.
Plate and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
*You could lighten this dish by reducing or removing the heavy cream.