Clams Casino Summer Pasta

One of my favorite aspects of summer, other than the lazy days spent at the pool, is how easy it is to throw together a great summer pasta dinner. Produce is so fresh and tasty that there’s little that needs to be done to create a dinner that will have everyone asking for seconds. Just toss some hot pasta with some cut up vegetables, season with a little Parmesan and dinner is ready.

I happen to be married to a dedicated omnivore so to really get rave reviews, I have to jazz up my pasta with a meat or fish. Last night, I combined grilled clams, one of our favorite appetizers, with fresh heirloom tomatoes and a few slivers of bacon I’d just pan fried. The resulting dish was everything summer is all about: fresh, sweet, with a hint of brininess from the sea.

Another perk of this dish is that it is easily adaptable for picky kids. I just make it in layers – adding the Parmesan and bacon first, then the tomatoes, and finally the clams. Depending on how picky your children are, they can jump in at any stage of the dinner assembly process to grab their favored pasta combination.

Kids Can't Be Fooled With Healthy Pasta
Kids Are Tough Judges When It Comes to Pasta.

I used Dreamfields Pasta to make this dish in summer fun Rotini shape. Dreamfields has as much whole grain fiber as whole wheat pasta but doesn’t have that yucky brown appearance that is a non-negotiable no no for my children. It also has fewer carbs than regular pasta, and it tastes no different than regular pasta. Trust me, my kids would sniff out any trickery.

Here’s a step by step guide on assembling this dish:

  1. Select some beautiful Heirloom tomatoes from your local farmer’s market or supermarket. Red Heirloom Tomatoes
  2. Set your pasta to boil. Cut and pan fry the bacon. Toss the clams on the grill. No need for a special pan or other accessory. Just toss the clams on the grate, close the lid for 2 to 3 minutes. As soon as they open up, they’re ready to eat and serve. Cherrystone Clams on Grill Grates
  3. Melt a little butter with some dried shallots in the microwave. This will be your clam sauce. A Sweet shallot Sauce Tops grilled clams
  4. When the pasta is cooked according to package directions, drain and toss with the bacon, Parmesan and tomatoes. Top with the clams and drizzle with the shallot sauce. Serve immediately. Summer Pasta with Grilled clams

Full Recipe

Clams Casino Summer Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 package of Dreamfields Rotini Pasta
3 ripe Heirloom Tomatoes, preferably different colors
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
2 dozen cherry stone clams still in their shell
1 tablespoon of dried or fresh shallots
3 tablespoons of salted butter

  1. Select some beautiful Heirloom tomatoes from your local farmer’s market or supermarket.
  2. Set your pasta to boil. Cut and pan fry the bacon. Toss the clams on the grill. No need for a special pan or other accessory. Just toss the clams on the grate, close the lid for 2 to 3 minutes. As soon as they open up, they’re ready to eat and serve.
  3. Melt a little butter with some dried shallots in the microwave. This will be your clam sauce.
  4. When the pasta is cooked according to package directions, drain and , toss with the bacon, Parmesan and tomatoes. Top with the clams and drizzle with the shallot sauce. Serve immediately.

Dreamfields Pasta Kitchen Play ContestI received some sample boxes of Dreamfields pasta for the creation of this summer family dinner dish
and will be receiving compensation for the publication of this post. Dreamfields Pasta is also sponsoring a great giveaway over at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. The odds to win are pretty great: all qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win $100 (6 prizes total). The deadline is August 7, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!

5 Responses to Clams Casino Summer Pasta

  1. I agree, summer for me is all about the throw togther meal and with so much great produce, it’s easy to get so much flavor with less. Love the idea of this quicky Clams Casino pasta.

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