A trout salad sandwich for lunch and clam sauce for dinner*

The smoked trout came out of the freezer, and I mixed it with a can of salmon, some chopped onion and cilantro, and a little mayo.

Dinner was clams we got this afternoon, made into pasta sauce. I’ve tried different ways to process the clams, and I hit on one that was relatively easy (clams are always a bit of a pain) and excellent for sauce. First, steam them open and remove them from their shells. Cut the strip and about half the belly off the clam, and chop this part coarsely. It’s the part that won’t get rubbery, so you can leave it in good-sized pieces. Run the rest through a food grinder — we use the one that attaches to our KitchenAid mixer. I ended up with about four cups of ground and chopped clams.

Here’s the sauce:

Basic Clam Sauce

1 T. vegetable oil (I use canola)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bulb garlic (10-15 cloves), pressed or finely chopped
Crushed red pepper to taste
1/4 cup dried oregano, or to taste
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups clam juice
3 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
4 cups ground or chopped cooked clams
Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

1. In a pot large enough to hold everything, saute the onions over medium heat until they wilt and begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and oregano and saute another few minutes.

2. Add the wine and let it cook down to almost nothing (to cook out the alcohol), and then add the clam juice and tomatoes. Simmer until it’s the consistency you like. This could be a while, if your tomatoes have a lot of liquid and you like your sauce thick. Be patient.

3. Add the clams. Taste. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper, and use a little sugar if it tastes acidic (this depends on the kind of tomatoes you used).

I served it over whole-wheat pasta, and tossed in some thawed frozen baby peas. It was a hit.