Some sauces are so good that any leftover is worth keeping and recycling. That was the case with Alex’s 3-cheese chicken. I scraped the sauce left in the serving platter, kept it in the fridge overnight and, the next day, I tossed cooked pasta in it along with clams lightly fried in butter. The thick sauce coated every strand of noodle perfectly. If I had served this dish to anyone who wasn’t aware of the origin of the sauce, the lucky person would never have guessed that this was a recycled dish made with leftover sauce.
Some notes about the clams… We bought them already shucked in the frozen section of South Supermarket which is just beyond the boundary that separates Antipolo from Pasig. Although it’s been there for a while, we’ve never shopped there before. Speedy went there recently and discovered items that we don’t find here in the boondock. A few days later, Alex and I went with him. We were so excited when we found veal tongue, foie gras, whole leg of lamb and the shucked clams that went into this dish.
Of course, you don’t have to go looking for shucked clams to make this pasta dish. You can use fresh clams — and I’d encourage you to because the clam juice will surely make the pasta dish even more delicious. If using fresh clams, should they be shucked before they are tossed with the pasta? I say keep the shells on — the dish won’t be as convenient to eat but you really don’t want to waste the clam juice that oozes out so fast once the shells open. If the juice has to ooze out, let it do so right there in the pan so that the noodles can soak it up.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- clams, shucked or not, as much as you like
- salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup 3-cheese sauce
- cooked linguine (or your preferred pasta shape) for two
- chopped parsley, to garnish
- Heat the butter in a pan.
- Over medium-low heat, sweat the chopped onion until soft and translucent.
- Throw the clams into the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook just until done (if using clams in shells, they are done once the shells open).
- Pour in the 3-cheese sauce. Stir until heated through.
- Add the pasta to the clams and sauce. Toss until the noodles are heated through.
- Add parsley and toss a few times.
- Serve hot.