Thursday’s TV dinners have become a kind of tradition for me now, and when I’m unable to have one that week for whatever reason, I feel a bit… thrown. I miss it, I do, and I really hope you guys enjoy reading about these as much as I enjoy making and eating them!
A recent spell of cold weather had me craving pasta, carbs, anything hearty that I could really sink my teeth into. However, I wanted to avoid anything too heavy in terms of sauce, because warm weather IS coming and I am trying my hardest at the gym and to just keep my weight under control. So I decided to make my brother-in-law’s version of linguine with clam sauce – with my own modifications, of course.
And per usual, the first night I made it was not Thursday. I made only half a pound of linguine (the other half was used to make salmon saffron linguine), so about two-three servings of this, the leftovers of which became the main portion of that Thursday’s TV dinner.
Couple of cloves of garlic, smashed (minced if you like)
Tablespoon or two of unsalted butter
Can of clams, drained, juice reserved
Small can of button mushrooms, drained
Parsley (I had freeze dried, so I used that, though fresh certainly would be nice here)
Lemon, cut into wedges
I eyeballed this entirely, so those of you who are newer to cooking might not feel comfortable using this as a guideline. Sorry!
Cook the linguine according to package directions, erring on the al dente side. Reserve a little pasta water.
A few turns of extra virgin olive oil around the bottom of a pan over medium heat; when it gets a bit warm, add the garlic. Let the garlic cook for a few minutes to perfume the oil; add the butter. Once that’s melted, add the clam juice, and allow to reduce a little to get a bit thick. If you’re using dried parsley, I’d add a good healthy pinch of it here to let it rehydrate, but fresh, you can add later. After the sauce is a little thick, add the clams and mushrooms, stirring, until they’re heated through. Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice, season the sauce to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the cooked linguine, tossing to coat with the sauce. If necessary, add a bit of the pasta water.
Serve with lemon wedges if some people want more lemon flavor. I also added more parsley flakes on top and found the flavor that imparted was really quite nice and yummy.
Then of course it made its appearance in a fairly simple dinner. From top left: linguine with clam sauce; Romaine lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette; roasted brussels sprouts; a Trader Joe’s baguette simply heated; and a homemade ice cream sandwich.
So good on a cold day. Love.
What, you didn’t know I make my own ice cream sandwiches? This is a complete and total cheat; some people may say it’s like Sandra Lee or Rachael Ray. It doesn’t matter: I bought a package of chocolate chocolate cookies a while back, and as soon as I ate one, I thought, “the texture of this is like what you want in an ice cream sandwich.” So I made one. And I did it again this time. This time, however, I used coffee-java-Bailey’s-espresso ice cream (a mix) and wrapped them tight in plastic wrap to refreeze.
And they were awesome. Highly recommend this for anyone, no baking or ice cream making required!
As always, happy eating!!! Any suggestions for my next TV dinner? (Don’t feel discouraged if you’ve made suggestions and they haven’t appeared yet – I’m more than a few weeks behind in my TV dinner posts, so… put it this way, at this writing, I’ve already got pictures for TV dinner 6!)