Almost Stella’s Clam Sauce

makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) flour
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, mined
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) sake (any dry white wine will do)
  • 1 roma (plum) tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) italian (flat) parsley, minced
  • 2 ounces (56 g) pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (14 ml) sherry
  • 3/4 cup (167 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) heavy (whipping) cream
  • 13 ounces (369 g) clams, finely chopped (2 standard cans)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) clam juice
  • 1 ounce (28 ml) lemon juice
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate), to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat, until the butter melts
  2. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps – it may lock-up like cake frosting but just keep stirring through it.
  3. Cook the mixture (roux) until it’s the color of a walnut and smells equally as nutty, this should take about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the shallots, ginger, and garlic and cook on low (sweat) until the shallots are tender.
  5. Add the sake (or other dry, white wine) and increase the temperature to high. Simmer for 5 minutes
  6. Add tomatoes, parsley, and optionally pancetta, simmer for 5 minutes
  7. Add the milk, cream, and sherry, simmer on medium till reduced by 50%, approximately 10-15 minutes
  8. Add 1/2 cup of clam juice from the canned clams and lemon juice, simmer until thickened
  9. Mix in clams
  10. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with a pasta that will hold the sauce — I prefer radiatore, and add grated romano cheese on top.

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