Orzo with linguiça and clams

I had some linguiça in the fridge that I bought like a month ago. Check the date: Sell By June 08. Perfect. Linguiça (lin-gwee-suh) is a Portuguese cured sausage that resembles chorizo. I don’t think it has tongue in it, but the name suggests it. Peter G. from Oz knows what I’m talking about. He’s a cunning linguist.

I was thinking of making something rich like feijoada, a rich Portuguesi stew of beans and pork products (also the National Dish of Brazil), but even though the weather is meh, I want to eat vegetables and herbs and brightness. And although my garden isn’t quite there yet, the heirloom tomatoes at New Seasons are fucking pulchritudinous. Yes, that’s right. Pulchritudinous. Yeah, I have a thesaurus. What’s it to ya?

I got so excited about eating linguiça for dinner that IMed the Hubz at work:

Hethz: Linguica – as sammich, with beans, or with fideos and clams
Hubz: Clams?
Hethz: Yay and crsty bread for soppage
Hubz: Sounds perfect.
Hethz: Except wtih orzo we dont hvae fideos and i dont wanna break spaghteti (I’m a terrible typist and IMing reflects this painfully clearly)
Hubz: Of course.
Hethz: Yay (then a bunch of extra-happy smilies cascade down the screen)

A nice trait of the Hubz’ is that he knows better than interject when I IM him in the middle of the afternoon with meal ideas. He just smiles and nods while secretly continuing to do his work.

Orzo with linguiça and clams
Avoid my n00b mistake and actually check your clams when the seafood guy hands them to you. If there any broken ones (or worse, empty ones), give him a dirty up-and-down look and ask him is he fucking kidding you with this shit. Anyways, that’s what I would’ve done if I’d thought to actually check my clams before gleefully trotting off swinging my basket and humming a tralala. Makes enough for two gluttons plus leftovers.

1/2 medium onion chopped
1 anaheim chili or 1/4 yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 very small fennel bulb, sliced (probably 1 cup?)
2 linguiça sausages, sliced
1 c white wine
1 c canned stewed tomatoes and their juice (diced or chop up three whole stewed toms)
~ 2 or 3 handfuls orzo pasta
a small handful of good olives (I had dry-cured Greek ones, but Kalamata would also be great)
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
a few pinches of chili flake
some cracks of pepper
1 lb. clams (we have Manila clams from Washington that are great), rinsed
1 small-ish fresh tomato, chopped
a squonch* of flatleaf parsley, chopped

*This is the amount I always tell the Hubz to pick from the garden when he asks “how much?”, and it’s always just the right amount.

In a wide frying pan, saute the onion, peppers, garlic, fennel and linguiça in a little olive oil. When the sausage starts to brown and the veg start to go a bit sticky and glossy, toss in the wine and stir. Add everything else except the clams, fresh tomato and parsley. After about ten minutes of cooking over medium-low with a lid and stirring once in awhile, add the clams and fresh tomato. Cook for 5-8 more minutes, or until the clams are open, Discard any that don’t open, because that means they were dead before you cooked them and this is how people get food poisoning.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread and a budget Spanish white such as Marqués de Alella 2006 Pansa Blanca.

Oh, I almost forgot! I’m sharing this dish with Kevin of Closet Cooking for the food blogging event he’s hosting, Presto Pasta Nights. I hope he likes it! Go check him out say hi! He is totally the Napoleon Dynamite of food blogging (I mean that very affectionately). This is normally an event by Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast (omg, hi Ruth!), but Kevs is hosting this time around. I’m sure he doesn’t mind if I call him Kevs.