Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
Spaghetti with clams has long been a favorite, and during a summer trip to Italy's sunny Amalfi coast a few years back, I was lucky enough to enjoy a gluten-free version of this quick, cheap, easy Italian classic. I find the recipe works best with Schar brand gluten-free spaghetti, but feel free to substitute your favorite.
1 pound dried Schar or other gluten-free spaghetti
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
5 or 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed clean
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
10 to12 sweet cherry tomatoes
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Lemon, as garnish
Boil 6 quarts of salted water in a large pot. Add pasta, stirring well to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, toss lightly with a splash of olive oil, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. When oil is hot, and nearly smoking, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes, stir well, so as not to burn the garlic.
Add the clams, wine and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until clams have opened.
Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Whisk in butter to thicken sauce slightly.
Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water - this will remove the pasta's natural starches. Place pasta into the clam saute pan and mix thoroughly. Season to taste.
Pour pasta into large serving bowl. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges, and grated cheese on the side.