My friend Nilda shares a wonderful story about having dinners with her grandfather. A great recipe follows but do listen to the Podcast here…GP.

Nilda’s voice is beautiful to listen to as she cooks and talks to her grandfather.

My grandfather, Carl German, has lived an incredible life as a professor, sailor, wrestler and engineer. He always shared with me that the biggest influence on his life and on how he viewed food was growing up during the Depression. He savored every meal because food was not to be taken for granted. His favorite food story is the first time he tried sashimi. He was sailing to England and a Bluefin tuna jumped on the boat. He said it was one of the best meals of his life.

Fettuccine with Clams

1 pound fettuccine
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
Zest of 1 lemon plus the juice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Oregano or thyme or both (small pinch)
¼ cup clam juice
1pound clams
1Tablespoon butter
Handful of chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta (make sure water is very salty). Heat olive oil and render bacon. Remove and drain on paper towel. Reserve bacon bits for finishing the pasta dish.

Add shallots to bacon fat and olive oil and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant. Add ½ lemon zest, red pepper flakes, oregano and thyme. Cook until herbs become fragrant. Keep heat on low-medium so the garlic and herbs do not burn. Add the lemon juice and clam juice and simmer to let it reduce and the broth becomes rich. Add clams and cover the pot cooking until all the clams have opened (discard clams that do not open). Add one ladle of pasta water.

Drain pasta and add 1tablespoon butter and half of the parsley. Salt and pepper the dish to taste.

Top with clams and clam broth, parsley, bacon bits and grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4