A while ago, we watched an episode of Jamie Oliver’s TV show, Jamie’s Food Escapes, that featured him visiting Italy, kicking back and preparing this mouth watering dish over an open fire. It. Looked. Amazing.
Rick whipped up his own adaptation for a gathering of family and friends last summer and it was exactly what a summertime picnic should be. Everyone gathered ‘round, cooking side-by-side, catching up, goofing on each other, all underscored by the sound of clams sizzling and the heady scent of a communal meal coming together. There’s nothing formal about this dinner. Everyone pitches in. Time to eat, just grab a plate and don’t be shy. Serve yourself and settle in for the very best in delicious rustic fare. After dinner, a still glowing fire will keep the stories going far into the darkness of the night. It is by far the most perfect, laid back way to spend a summer evening.
I hope that you take the time today, Father’s Day, or any day, to surround yourself with the people you love, to prepare and share this meal together. You’ll be glad that you did.
Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy!
Campfire Clams and Linguine (Adapted from Jamie’s Food Escapes)
2 lbs. small clams, scrubbed well
1 lb. fresh chopped clams
2 bottles clam juice
1 bunch fresh parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
I container cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
½ lb. chorizo sausage, sliced thinly (optional)
8-10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 whole dried ancho peppers, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 lbs. linguine
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Inside, on the stove, get a large pot of salted water and the linguine cooking.
Outside by the campfire, take an extra large camp pan, and place over the fire to heat briefly. Add the oil, garlic, and ancho pepper and sauté, stirring, for 2-3 minutes till the garlic begins to brown.
Add the two bottles of clam juice, the whole clams, and cover the pan with a form-fitting lid.
When the clams open (3-5 minutes or so), remove the lid. Add the chopped clams, chorizo and simmer all together for 5 minutes or so, stirring the mixture occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cooked pasta and tomatoes. Using 2 wooden spoons, thoroughly mix the pasta with all the ingredients in the pan.
Top off each serving with a nice pinch of fresh parsley and salt/pepper, and a chunk of crusty bread on the side. Serve immediately.
*Note- we use our cast iron hearth cooking pans outside for this dish, with a metal stand called a ‘spider’ that sits right in the fire. We also use special fire and heat resistant gloves in the process. If cooking fireside is not convenient for you, or you lack the tools, you can certainly adapt the amounts in this recipe and cook on the stovetop.