Pasta with Clams and Beech Mushrooms

David cooked an amazing lunch for the two of us when he was in Columbus- one of my favorites, Pasta with Clams.  Who can resist this buttery, garlic-y dish?  Seeing some little beech mushrooms for $1.50 a piece at the Asian grocery store by my house, David decided to add them in.  We bought the gorgeous manila clams (1.5 lbs) from Sunrise Asian market but besides those clams and mushrooms we had everything else on hand.  Feel free to take out the mushrooms from this recipe if you don’t like them- but I personally love them.

Pasta with Clams and Beech Mushrooms
Serves 2 generous portions
Cook Time: about 30-45 minutes

• olive oil
• 4 tbsp butter
• 1/2 box angel hair pasta (we used whole wheat)
• 1 package of beech mushrooms
• 1.5 lbs clams, scrubbed well
• 1/2 large Spanish onion, minced
• 1 large clove garlic
• 1.5 cups white wine
• juice from 1/2 lemon
• fresh parsley, to garnish

Saute mushrooms over high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil- just enough to get color on them, about 4 minutes.  Remove from pan and reserve on a paper towel.  Add clams in a large pot to line bottom and pour water 1/4 – 1/2 up the clams, cover and put on high heat so the water boils and steams the clams.  Steam cook until all clams are open, about 5 minutes.  Strain off clams and keep the reserve liquid.

In same pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion.  Sweat onion until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Boil 1/2 box of whole wheat pasta in salted water according to package directions, subtracting a minute so the pasta is al dente.   Add 1 clove minced garlic to the onion and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Deglaze pan with 1.5 cups white wine and simmer to reduce until slightly syrupy (au sec), about 8 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup reserve liquid to the pan.

Add in the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss.  Add 4 tablespoons diced butter, mushrooms, clams, fresh parsley and lemon juice.  Check for seasoning because the reserve liquid can be salty.  If the sauce should be looser, add more reserve liquid by tablespoons.  Plate and finish the dish with freshly chopped parsley.

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