Monday, May 14, 2007

Black Bean Clams Pasta

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

1 dozen medium-sized clams
½ sweet onion, diced
1 green bellpepper, chopped
6 to 8 oz. angel hair or capellini pasta
2 T black bean sauce
1/4 cup white wine
3 T heavy cream (optional)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 T Canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t chili pepper flakes
1 T cornstarch
cilantro or flat leaf parsley for garnish

In boiling pot, cook pasta for about 4 minutes in salted water. Set aside.

In hot wok or skillet, warm oil over medium high heat and add garlic and onion. Saute for about one minute and then add bellpepper. Add black bean sauce and quickly blend with all the ingredients in the wok. Toss in fresh clams and add white wine and pepper flakes. Cover for about 3 minutes, letting the wine/black bean sauce steam the clams to open.

Add heavy cream and cheese to your wok and blend with your sauce that’s developing. Then in small bowl, mix cornstarch with water to create a slurry to thicken the sauce. Once all your clams have opened, stir in the cornstarch mixture. When your sauce thickens to the way you like it, toss in your pasta and mix well. Plate the dish top with chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley.

Makes 2 servings.

Pair with glass of Riesling.

TIPS: The rule with any shellfish like clams or mussels is that you don’t want to force one open. If it doesn’t open during cooking, then you’ve got a bad apple in the bunch. (That’s why some good fishmongers would throw in one or two extras when you’re ordering your clams.) Once the clams begin to open, I’ve found that a trick to get others that might be slower is to give it a tap. (It’s like you’re waking it up; not that the firey heat isn’t a hint.)

ASIAN OR ITALIAN?: As you can tell, this dish is a cross between Asian tastes and an Italian meal. To give it more of an Asian taste, you can drizzle a tablespoon of sesame oil over your plate of pasta right before you serve to give it that extra aromatic. Or you can go with a nice Italian extra virgin olive oil.


Anonymous said...

this came out really salty..not sure what happened, but good idea!

Single Guy Ben said...

Anonymous, the only way the dish would get salty is three ways:

1) Your pasta water was oversalted, making the pasta salty.

2) You used too much of the black bean sauce. (Or you didn't use sauce from the jar but used actual fermented black beans.)

3) Your parmesan cheese was extra salty and you put too much.

Like any dish, you have to adjust to your taste. My guess is the culprit was the black bean sauce. Did you use from the jar or did you buy fermented black beans and made your own sauce? If you used your own black bean, then you need to soak it to soften it and that'll also reduce the saltiness. Try making it with just a tablespoonn of the black bean sauce and see if it makes a difference.

Hope that helps!