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.
RECIPE: LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE (Serves 4)
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
Fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
- 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.
- Finely slice the parsley stalks, then put them on the side and roughly chop the leaves.
- Peel and chop the garlic, quarter the tomatoes and get wine ready.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water with a healthy helping of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente.
- Put 4 generous lugs of olive oil into a hot pan and add the garlic, parsley stalks and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Take the pan off the heat when all the clams have opened, about 5min. Get rid of any clams that haven’t opened.
- 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!