Iron-rich clam linguine – a.k.a. “what I cook when I’m lazy.”

So, after having a brief conversation about iron-rich foods on Twitter (as you do), and sharing the amazing revelation that canned clams are richer in iron, ounce per ounce, than the reigning King of Iron Richness — beef liver — I agreed to post my favourite recipe involving canned clams.

We eat this roughly once a week. It’s cheap, it’s easy and fast, and it tastes really good (in my humble opinion.) It’s a classic “shelf supper,” meaning all the ingredients can sit on the shelf for a while, so that you can keep it on hand for when things get a little too busy.

I originally got it from a lovely and wonderful Canadian cookbook called Pantry Raid. Which is entirely about shelf suppers (and desserts.) Which is, I’m sure you’ll agree, totally genius.

The original recipe says it serves four, but it also makes a nice all-in-one dinner for two hungry adults.

Here goes:

12 oz (375 g) dry linguine
1 can (19 oz, 540 mL) of Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz, 398 mL) of baby clams
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil (optional – or you can use a tsp. or so of dried basil, but the fresh basil tastes waaaay better)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Boil water for pasta. Meanwhile, bring tomatoes to a boil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir for 3-5 minutes, breaking the tomatoes up a little with your spoon.

Cook the pasta until al dente (usually right around 9 minutes for us.) While it cooks, drain the clams and stir into the tomatoes. Add the balsamic vinegar to the sauce, and let the sauce return to a boil. Then add the basil, salt and pepper.

When the pasta is done, drain and mix together with the sauce, cover with parmesan cheese and EAT.

According to the USDA nutrient database, the clams in this recipe alone should give you well over the RDA of iron. (And writing sentences like that is, without a doubt, the most boring part of my job.)

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