I came home this evening with a hankering for linguine with clams, not quite sure why, as seafood, in particular shellfish, is not something I normally crave. Don't get me wrong, I like fish, crab, lobster, etc. as much as the next person, but it is not on my usual repertoire of cooking recipes. It just so happens that my personal chef (also known as my live-in) was not up to cooking tonight. He recently received an invitation to meet with the head brewer of Iron Hill, in North Wales and was giddy with excitement and working on his resume. Fine. I didn't want him messing up the dinner I was dreaming up anyway: Linguine with Red Clam sauce. Open cupboards, linguine, canned chopped clams (score). The fixin's were all here, no need to run to the grocery store (which I loathe anyway). So I grabbed my Rachel Ray and got started. Confession, I am not the type of foodie who can gather a bunch of ingredients, throw together and have a wonderful meal turn out (like my chef)...I inevitably screw something up in the process. I like to have recopies as a guide. I don't generally follow to the letter, but I like the guidance, and I think I am a better cook because of it. Anyway, I used Rachel's recipe for Linguine with Red Clam Sauce, however, some substitutions and omissions needed to be made. I had the garlic, not the anchovies, crushed red peppers, but not the fresh parsley and thyme, no clam broth either just chopped clams in their juice. Oh well the key ingredients were there, clams, pasta, garlic, crushed tomatoes...shit! Only whole peeled tomatoes (not the right consistency) and Ragu....Ragu it is. Enter wine. The recipe calls for wine...but we are down to our last two bottles, one a novelty and the other, the last of my Olympic Peninsula wine from my trip back home. Our wine selection appears to be drying up, mainly due to the fact that our alcohol budget has been going towards beer for the past several months. The recipe only calls for 1/4 cup...a very necessary 1/4 cup... so I sacrificed the Lost Mountain Syrah (2001) (which is highly recommended to anyone who can find it, which pretty much excludes anyone who lives anywhere other than the Pacific NW). Beer lends itself nicely to many a dish, but not the one I was preparing. By this time dinner is shaping up nicely and a couple of glasses of wine are down the hatch, when the boy emerges...
Boy: "Something smells good"
Me: "Its all the garlic"
Boy: "Did you just open that wine?" he asks...beer glass in hand (did I mention I live with a fantastic home brewer)..."I thought we were saving it"
Me: "For what...we've had it two years"
Boy: "I dunno...You're cooking with it?"
Me: "Yes... we need it to add depth and character...otherwise it's just clams and Ragu"
Boy: "What about the rest of the bottle?..."
Me: "What bottle?"
There was really no real point to this entry, no knitting, just a girl all warm with good pasta and a bottle of red wine.
(Note: Please overlook any spelling errors or incoherent sentences)