Labor Day Easy Cooking…Clams and Fregola Sardinian Style

Whether you’re eating on the beach or in a restaurant, there’s a good chance that at least some of your food was made from ingredients that came from the sea. Perfect beach food is a mix of fresh seafood, spicy peppers, and cool drinks.

Inspired by a photo on a magazine cover a rather simple Italian dish with fresh clams and toasted fregola yet another hearty grain “couscous” like nutty flavored pasta that is a fantastic addition to the pasta pantry for seafood dishes and pasta salads. So poke around and look at recipes for fregola…add a new ingredient to your pantry staples and weekly menu plan.

We are the type of people that may rent a beach house or condo, but we don’t like eating out all of the time so I have a few recipes that come in handy while vacationing for a long weekend or a longer period of time in the off season. I think that I’ll dedicate a file for my keeper easy recipes and name it “Beach Bible Recipes”.

I found a fregola and clam recipe that is pretty close to what I make so the link to her recipe is below…my changes are few as I add 1-14 ounce can of diced San Marzano tomatoes, Calabrian chiles with garlic oil, and bit of white wine. Most of the water that I use in the recipe is for soaking and cleaning the clams adding maybe a cup or so to thin my sauce.

Beach lunches and dinners scream for available fresh seafood and of course well planned pantry goods packed for such a great almost labor free visit. We plan our long weekends ahead of time and do all of the necessary shopping before all of the “beach” visitors arrive as it is tough to get around in the traffic and packed stores and markets.
This Labor Day weekend’s menu is not full of kitchen labor but is big seafood flavored dishes that began with a fun new dinner of sausage, shrimp, orzo, and what may be the last of the farm stand fresh corn and sweet peppers.

Yet another lunch for the long beach themed weekend was an easy clam chowder made in about 40 or so minutes taking advantage of two “souper” chowder recipes from Jasper white and Ina Garten which can be made ahead of time, reheated, and finished by tossing in the chopped chowder clams for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Enjoy the long weekend with family & friends…

To end the holiday weekend we host a planned pot luck dinner with friends that begins with a hot grill primed and ready for fresh bratwursts (steeped in winter crisp hard cider) kielbasa links served with the appropriate condiments and picnic side dishes.

After the Labor Day weekend for me is a good time to start planning menus that begins with a good old fashioned Yankee pot roast to prime us for the coming fall months of hearty meals…
it’s been a long hot summer and I look forward to the cooler fall months with fabulous seasonal ingredients to work with and incorporate as well as discovering new dishes fit for fall…