We don't live like Tony and Carmela Soprano.
In addition to not having a big house on a hill and not having people shooting at us, we don't live on the east coast. Not even close. We live in Manitoba. That's in the middle of North America. We're in the prairies. Not like Tony and Carmela in New Jersey, near the ocean.
Carmela has her pick of seafood. She probably used to send her nephew Christopher, before Tony whacked him, to Fulton's Fish Market to get fish fresh off the boat.
Carmela has a recipe for Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce in Entertaining with The Sopranos. She gets a little picky in this recipe: "3 pounds very small clams, such as Manila or mahogany clams, or New Zealand cockles (or mussels)".
She just takes for granted everybody waltzes past barrels of fresh seafood every day.
Some girls have it all.
Okay. This week, as part of Dollar Days, Sobeys is taking a buck off their 2 pound package of live P. E. I. mussels. This is important because normally our local Sobeys doesn't carry mussels, dead or alive. They make an effort to get some when mussels are mentioned in the flyer. Ladies in my neighborhood can get a little ticked off at the "Our supplier didn't send us any" line when there's a sale. I mean, we're not second class citizens.
So, I made Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce using P. E. I. mussels.
Like I had a choice.
Once you get the mussels, the recipe is pretty easy. Clean the mussels and throw away the broken or dead ones. Cook 2 pints of halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes with the mussels and some olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley and salt. Save some of the pasta's cooking water if the mixture seems a little dry.
It's a bit of a hassle eating clams. Maybe that's why we didn't have any at Ma's house. We had fish. Sometimes it was fresh bluefish which was bought from the fellows at Sheepshead Bay. I also remember Pop bringing home some clams from Oyster Bay.
But, we kids never ate them. Maybe we made a scene or a mess when we were little and Ma figured it wasn't worth the bother.
I'd make Red Clam Sauce - with mussels - again. Just have to wait for another Dollar Day.
Another recipe down. Fifty-four more to go.