I’m usually a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Elimination diets, over the top workouts, every good habit I can think of, come January 1, I try it. But not this year. I reached my tipping point with a kiddo in the picture. There’s only so much energy to expend. So rather than set the bar sky high, in 2016 I decided it’s ok to celebrate small victories. The first on my list: getting back into the kitchen.

I’ve always loved to cook. I’ve taken classes here and there over the years. My Pinterest board overfloweth with recipes. I used to menu plan and whip up easy weeknight dinners all the time – it was the way I relaxed. But since having our bebe, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve turned on a burner. After getting an infant down to bed there’s little motivation to dive into meal prep. Over the last 9 months my contacts list has added every takeout restaurant within a five mile radius. And my thighs have suffered as a result.

So rather than flog myself for not going Paleo on Jan 1, instead I’ve committed to one thing: home cooked meals. They don’t have to be carb free. They don’t have to follow any diet of any kind. My only rule is that they just don’t come in a box. This Linguine with Clams recipe created & styled by our food contributor Zoe Ambruster is a perfect example – it’s simple, it’s easy, it’s elegant and it is excellent.

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RECIPE: LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS: 
2 pounds clams, scrubbed clean
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic
10 cherry tomatoes
1 cup white wine
400 g linguine
Salt
Fresh black pepper
Olive oil
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put a pan of water to boil. Sort through your cleaned clams and if there are any open ones, give them a tap. If they don’t close, throw them away.
  2. Finely slice the parsley stalks, then put them on the side and roughly chop the leaves.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic, quarter the tomatoes and get wine ready.
  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water with a healthy helping of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente.
  5. Put 4 generous lugs of olive oil into a hot pan and add the garlic, parsley stalks and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Add pepper flakes and chopped tomatoes, stirring everything around constantly and just as the garlic starts to colour, add the clams and pour in the wine. Give a good shake and put the lid on the pan.
  7. Take the pan off the heat when all the clams have opened, about 5min. Get rid of any clams that haven’t opened.
  8. Drain pasta and add to the pan of clams along with the parsley leaves and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Stir for a minute. Serve right away!

I’m not sure I can think of anything easier than this dish. Combined prep and cooking time is under 30 minutes – even if you added a salad to to the mix! There’s literally no excuse not to give this recipe a go (save a shellfish allergy!).

I’ve managed to stick to my cooking guns through the first 11 days of the new year – save a dinner or two at an actual restaurant – and I’m already feeling healthier. I also have this pasta dish on heavy rotation. I’m sharing a lot of what I cook over on Snapchat these days so feel free to come and follow: apartment34. If you have any homecooked favorites please send them my way. I need to grow my repertoire!

original recipe & food styling by zoe armbruster, photography by madelene farin

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7 Comments

  1. That’s such a wonderful, easy and quick recipe! I’ve always been intimidated about buying clams – so I really appreciated your tips on selection too.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

    1. shellfish can be really intimidating Tanya but they’re surprisingly easy to work with and its so much cheaper than eating out!

  2. Used thin spaghetti instead absolutely delicious