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Welcome to Humble Homecooking’s first ever blog post!

IMG_0395I am so excited to start sharing my adventures in cooking with you! For those of you who know me, you know that one of my favorite things in life is bacon. If I could have my way, I would put that stuff on everything — but considering that large amounts of this salty goodness turn out to be sorta bad for you…all things in moderation. I love using bacon in this dish to flavor the pasta and clams with that hickory smoked flavor and the great thing is that you don’t have to use a lot of it to get that awesome bacon-y flavor! Pair this pasta dish with some delicious roasted asparagus and a tasty glass of wine and you have yourself a wonderful meal.

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It is my goal with this blog to feature at least one local, sustainable, or high quality product in every recipe I post – we’ll see how that pans out. In this recipe, you would think living in the northwest and all, I’d feature the clams. And while the clams were wild caught, I wanted to feature this awesome, affordable wine I recently discovered. For us wine lovers, we’re really blessed to live in Washington – there are so many wineries! This one was on sale at my local supermarket and I thought I’d give it a try. Lone Birch is a winery in Yakima and this Pinot Gris paired perfectly with the seafood and lemon in this dish – a little fruity, but not too sweet. Hope you enjoy!

Clam & Bacon Pasta
1 lb clams
4 slices good, hickory smoked bacon
3 cloves crushed or minced garlic
¼ cup white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Lone Birch Pinot Gris (or any dry white wine)
2 T butter
juice from ½ lemon
¼ cup fresh, chopped Italian parsley
1 box of thin whole wheat spaghetti (or angel hair pasta)
grated Parmesan for topping

1. Cut bacon into bite size pieces and cook in medium pan on medium heat until crispy. Add onion to bacon and let caramelize. While the bacon is cooking, begin reducing the wine for the sauce. Heat wine in small saucepan so it’s just bubbling. Reduce wine until half of it remains in the pot. Add butter and lemon juice to reduced wine.

2. Rinse the clams, and iIMG_0374f needed, scrub them. Sometimes clams can be kind of sandy, but if you got them at your supermarket, they should be fairly clean. Steam them over a pot of boiling water with the lid on until the clams start to open. If any clams do not open, DO NOT eat them. This means that they were dead before you got them and they will make you sick. After cooking, drain the liquid from them and add the clams to the bacon.

3. While clams are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Thin pasta does not take very much time to cook, so if you cook it too early, you’ll end up with cold pasta.

IMG_03774. Add garlic and parsley to bacon and clams and cook until fragrant. Pour reduced wine mixture into pan with bacon and clams — simmer for a few minutes.

 

5. Put cooked pasta onto plate and top with clams and bacon. Spoon extra white wine sauce onto pasta and top with grated Parmesan. Enjoy with roasted asparagus and a glass of Lone Birch Pinot Gris!

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Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagusIMG_0372
olive oil to drizzle
2 T balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Rinse and pat dry asparagus. You can leave the spears whole, or you can cut them into more manageable pieces. I cut my spears on a bias (at an angle) into three pieces . Place in roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Finish with sea salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. The size of your asparagus will determine the cooking time. I don’t like mine mushy, so I always err on the side of undercooked. It’s a whole lot easier to keep cooking if they need it than to have to deal with overcooked asparagus.

 

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