I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hats Off To A Special Lady


A discussion about women, who could pull off wearing big hats and look stunning, got me to thinking about my Aunt Lena. My Aunt Lena was a full figured blond haired blue eyed Italian girl. In those days it seemed that all the ladies had really big hair, my Aunt was no exception. That head of hair was all hers unlike my grandmother who always wore a wiglet to give her that Marge Simpson effect. I was always fascinated by the importance of hats back then; they were almost a form of societal status. Just as important were the gorgeous boxes that contained those beautiful head toppers. Somewhere along the line we lost the genetic ability to be able to pull off wearing such artistry on our heads without looking ridiculous. Definitely an era that has come and gone, hopefully it will return someday, for that seemed to be such a glorious time.
There was another thing that my Aunt Lena was famous for and that was her linguini with red clam sauce. It was always her special holiday dish and if we were lucky a special addition to our weekly Sunday dinner. I have always preferred the white clam sauce but Aunt Lena's red clam sauce was always the exception, one of the best that I have ever had to this day.

Aunt Lena's Red Clam Sauce

2 c. chopped onions
1 lg. green pepper, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water
4 (6 1/2 oz.) cans chopped clams, with liquid
1 (61/2 oz.) can of minced clams, with liquid
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. crushed hot red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

In 4 quart covered saucepan, sauté onions, green pepper, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil and water over medium low heat until onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes.

Serve over pasta.


Julie's White Clam Sauce

1/4 cup pure olive oil
4 cloves garlic
Small white onion, chopped
1/4 stick of butter
1 1/2 cup clam juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup of oregano
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
5 -6.5 ounce cans of chopped clams with liquid
1 doz. fresh clams, optional as an added tasty garnish

In frying pan sauté garlic and onion in oil for one minute over moderate heat, add 1/4 stick of butter, add clam juice and bring to boil. Add parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, clams and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve over pasta


Lucia said...

I love stories like that. Thanks for sharing. And the recipes look good too.

Julie said...

You are welcome, Lucia and thank you.

Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli said...

Thanks for the interesting recipe! will definitely try it out