Friday, July 27, 2007

Waiter! There's Something in My....Sauce

I haven't participated since the WTSIM... Easter Basket, so I saw over at SpittoonExtra (unlikely a name as that is for a food blog)that the subject was sauces and this Wednesday's Tapas night with the additional challenge of selecting dishes that are low fat (my husband just got his bloodwork back, and cholesterol and blood sugars are an issue!) And thanks to Andrew I had enough time to play with some candidates (he moved the deadline). So Evil David and I developed a menu that was heavy on vegetables and light on fat and processed carbs.

So here is what we came up with - David's dishes: Huge Garden Salad with heirloom tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette, Edamame Italian style and Miso Soup. My dishes: Mahi-Mahi with Green Sauce and Whole wheat pasta with a Rustic red clam sauce. Since the green sauce was inspired by a dish I saw on Kalyn's site, I am saving that one for Weekend Herb Blogging. I am featuring the Rustic red clam sauce because besides being a sauce meeting the criteria, it also featured some fresh herbs from my garden and some local tomatoes I got from my favorite farmer we affectionately call "Tractor Joe". This sauce is a version of one I used to make all the time and it takes the regular clam sauce and lightens it up for summer, using fresh tomatoes. This sauce also lends itself to experimentation to make it a little different each time (you know how I love to play with food!) While I used canned (gasp!) clams because that is what I had in the house, it would be even better with fresh shucked clams, or I would imagine you could make the rest of the sauce and then add fresh clams in the shell (mahogany or littlenecks would be best) cooking until they open. Something I would definitely do next time would be to add an anchovy or two when sauteeing the garlic for a richer taste.

Rustic Red Clam Pasta Sauce

3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (or you could use a can of stewed tomatoes in a pinch)

2-4 garlic cloves , minced (to me, more is better)

1 medium onion, chopped coarsely

1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped coarsely

1/4-1/2 cup sundried tomatoes chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 can baby clams, drained, liquid reserved

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Freshly grated parmesan and fresh basil chiffonade

Heat olive oil and saute garlic, being careful not to brown. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent (here is where I would add an anchovy). Add all the rest of the ingredients (including the clam liquid) except clams. Cook on medium heat until sauce is reduced by about half, or until sauce no longer looks watery, but still a bit soupy. Toss with your choice of cooked pasta, and serve with shaved parmesan cheese and a chiffonade of fresh basil (I used purple basil from my garden). (If you are not watching carbs, this sauce really lends itself to mopping up (isn't there a more sophisticated term for this) with a delicious rustic bread!)


Kristen said...

I keep forgetting to participate in that event. I can't keep all these things straight.

This looks like a lovely, lovely dish!

Andrew said...

Thanks for participating; a great entry.

SpittoonExtra is so named as, at one point I put everything I wrote into one blog. When I decided to join the food blog community more and hive off the food/photo bits from Spittoon I set up SpittoonExtra where anything not wine related gets put... here endith the lesson... :-)

Karen said...

This looks like a meal to warm my heart...yum.

Deborah Dowd said...

Kristen- It is really fun and interesting to see what others come up with!

Andrew- Thanks for hosting... and demystifying SpittoonExtra.

Karen- It was very delicious- no leftovers!