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    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Pasta Clam Bake

    We have just returned from a wonderful long stay in the US of A.
    First piece of news when I turned on the cell phone at the airport…
    Oh daughter had very kindly bought some provisions for us.
    When she opened the fridge door the stench nearly sent her reeling
    across the floor. The fridge as it turns out had blown a fuse
    and the nicely full freezer was a seething mass of rotten food.

    No more details. I don’t want to put you off your food except to say the upside is that I do get a new fridge out of it…Of course a new fridge ex insurance company doesn’t materialize immediately, but we had a solution- our basics could fit into the electric igloo we nearly gave away last year on trade me, the biggest bid we got was $25 so we decided to keep it. Yipee

    Luckily for the more important commodities i.e. “wine” etc we do have in the garage...a wine and beer fridge

    Anyway, as you know this site is to demonstrate how simple all the food we see on TV is to prepare, But I had to share this little Pasta Clam Bake I cooked using the fridge basics and cans from the pantry. I can assure you it was very tasty.
    Having been in New York State... Clam country I decided that the can of clams in the pantry could be put to good use.

    So you need for this dish to feed 2 greedy or 3 normal people.

    120 Gms orzo pasta Cooked for 5 minutes and drained

    75 gms butter
    2 cloves of garlic peeled crushed and chopped
    2 rashers bacon finely chopped
    2 fresh tomatoes chopped
    3 tbs flour
    300 mls milk
    S & P

    1 can clams drained and reserve the juice
    1 can corn drained
    ½ cup grated tasty cheese

    Extra grated cheese for topping
    Fresh rosemary for garnish (optional) any herb would do, this was all I had in the garden, but I have to say the rosemary flavour did add a little "je ne sais quois"!!!

    Melt the butter add the garlic and the bacon and cook till tender, (not too hot we are not browning here) add the tomatoes, mix around for about 30 -40 seconds, it’s nice to keep the fresh tomato taste. Good grind black pepper.

    Add the flour and cook for a couple minutes, add the clam juice, and as much of the milk that you need to make a sauce the consistency of pancake batter. Let this simmer for a few minutes to get the flavours going... Taste for seasoning before adding any sea salt. The clam juice and bacon are quite salty.

    In your gratin dish throw in the pasta, add corn, grated cheese and drained clams, toss around - then pour over sauce and mix well, sprinkle the extra grated cheese on top, garnish with rosemary and bake 180◦ for 20 - 25 minutes.

    Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve.