May 23, 2010

Meant To Be

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.

Pappardelle Alle Vongole on Foodista


  1. I could just eat a clam out of the picture it looks so good.
    This is truly a perfect match meal.

  2. Such a sweet post, I do believe in destiny too somehow, why we make certain choices rather than other has a reason...As for the papardelle, they're simply gorgeous, the photos are so alive, it's incredible, I feel like licking my screen! Beautiful recipe!

  3. A truly classic pairing. Terrific photography as always. I just might run out and get some clams this week.

  4. Absolutely stunning. Great post, great pics, good food. thanks for sharing!

  5. Fun to read with amazing pictures. A great take on one of my favourite pasta dishes. Grand!

  6. I do believe in destiny and like you I believe my hubby and I were meant to be together , your post made your dish come alive.

  7. Your pictures are ridiculously beautiful. Seriously.

  8. Thank you! thank you! This sounds fabulous - I'm not sure when I fell in love with spaghetti with clams, but I know Bri and I found this amazing little restaurant in Sorento on vacation and I ordered it every night we were there! I've never had a great recipe, so this is perfect. ( :

  9. Wonderful interesting post. Your pasta dish looks great.


  10. What a beautiful post! I love romance (and pasta!) :)

  11. I couldn't agree with your more about destiny, your post was a lovely read! :) And the food... oh wow. The photos are beautiful, I especially like your intro photo, and the clams sound amazing. I have had mussels with pasta many times but clams seem like a perfect pairing as well!

  12. What a terrific post. Your photos and recipe are really wonderful. This is my first visit to your blog. I had planned only to say hello and then move on. Instead I began to read your prior and stayed far longer than I had intended. I love your recipes and your blog is most welcoming. I hope to visit often. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  13. Dear Sommer - What a great title and opening pic! It told the story right at the onset.

    Love the food couples :)

    You have made this beautiful classic and plated it for us in such a stunning and creative way. Just lovely ;)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  14. what great snaps and wonderful story. Those clams look absolutely luscious and the pasta to die for.

  15. lovely post, love the first shot and the clams oh my they look stunning


  16. I agree... totally meant to be! I love, love, love that first photo. And I love, love, love classic romance. I still have required reading ovels on my nightstand too - they are comforting. Just like pasta and clams.

  17. This looks delish and your photographs are beautiful!

  18. Gorgeous - well done!

  19. I loved this blog post! Linquine and clams are just such a perfect combination (that first picture is out of this world!)

  20. Wow, I am so hungry right now. This is beautiful. Also, I love pappardelle too so I totally get pairing it with clams! I'm so buying some clams next time I go past the fishmonger's...

    Jax x

  21. I love the close up picture of the pasta and the mussel. It really caught my eye!

  22. Congrats on your Top 9 status today which brought me to your website for the first time. Great photos/writing will bring me back. You've got a new reader!

  23. That sizzling hot mess in the pan is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat!

    Your pics are always stunning and your stories worth the time it takes to read them! The recipes are great and that's pretty much a given :) Pasta and clams WERE made for each other. Congratulations on netting a great guy!

    Another great post - thanks!

  24. amazing dish. My favorite pasta for sure, but the shallots and clams are a total bonus. I need a big bowl of this as well as a nice slice of the cake below.

  25. I can say only one thing: yummm....I love vongole and all those shells. Especially with good pasta!

  26. Like so many others, I can't help but say how beautiful your photos are! I can't wait to give this a shot.


I love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for taking the time. If you have a question, I'll get back to you ASAP!