Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pasta with Mushroom-Clam Sauce

Fresh clams are wonderfully delicious in pasta sauces, but fully cooked clam meat (usually sold frozen) also makes a flavorful, meaty sauce for an easy, simple pasta dinner. Look for 10-ounce bags of wild-caught, sustainable, cooked clam meat in the frozen seafood section of your market. I found this at Whole Foods.

Frozen Cooked Clams
Note: I usually recommend two ounces of pasta per serving, but when it comes to noodles as thin as angel hair a little goes a longer way. Here, only six ounces for four servings add up to a hearty bowlful.

Angel Hair Pasta
Serves 4


  • 6 oz angel hair pasta
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 10-oz package frozen, wild-caught clam meat, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • 2 tsp chopped tarragon
  • grated Romano cheese, for serving (optional)
Sauce Ingredients

  1. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente, 2-3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until softened, 6-7 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, stirring to melt and incorporate. Add the clams and chile flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes.
  4. Add the drained pasta, pasta water, tarragon, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the sauce. Stir well to incorporate.
Mushrooms and Garlic
Softened Mushrooms and Garlic 
Butter, Clams, and Chile Flakes Added
Pasta with Sauce
Divide the pasta and sauce among 4 shallow bowls and pass Romano cheese at the table, if desired.

Pasta with Mushroom-Clam Sauce

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