I know this will sound weird and maybe disgusting to some, but hell who cares...
We went fishing to Sebatian Inlet last weekend and, as usual, we loaded with different baits, including some beautiful really fresh clams and good size live shrimps from Whitey's B&T.
Well, the trip was still fun, but most of the catches were on lures, spoons and live mullets we directly netted at the jetty. Nothing touched our bottom and chicken rigs baited with shrimps, clams and fleas (other than a bonnethead, some regular catfish and a HUGE gaffsail), freelined and trollrited live shrimps didn't produce as well...so, bottom line, at the end of the day I still had 7 huge clams and 3-4 dozen of live shrimps.
Well, I could have frozen them and use for the next trips, but instead I did something way better.
First of all you need to be 100% sure that your shellfish and crustaceans are as fresh as they can be (even better if still alive) and to find it out there's only one way in my book, smell them and as soon as you feel a bad smell just throw'em out, no discussion (shellfish in particular can develop toxins very easily)
Ingredients (for 1-2 persons)
- 5-6 big clams
- 3-4 dozen shrimps
- olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
- FRESH italian parsley (the one with flat leaves, not the curly one some uses as decoration, it has no flavor at all...)
- crushed red pepper, salt & black pepper
Put the clams in a pan with nothing in it (no oil, no water, no nothing...) to medium heat, the clams will open themselves in 7-8 minutes and will take out their own juice from inside, save the juice (you'll need it later to strain the sauce) and keep the clams apart
in another pan put some olive oil, minced garlic, diced cherry tomatoes, some crushed red peppers and parsley (salt&pepper at your pleasure), medium heat until the oil drizzles and the garlic turns golden, toss the shrimps (once cleaned, just take off the head and the vein, DO NOT PEEL THEM) and let'em cook until they completely turn orange-reddish color, add the clams, some of the clams juice and a lil bit of white wine and make the sauce strain
boil a pot of water, add spaghetti or linguine and cook for 7-8 minutes (I like them perfectly "al dente"), drain spaghetti and toss them in the sauce pan, stir for 2-3 minutes and add some more fresh parsley, you're setup and ready to go!
Pair it with some chilled white wine (I like the one in the picture, Napa Valley Fume' Blanc)
here's final result
then come back and tell me again "oh...I don't eat bait..."