Almejas Botin (Clam Booty)

Almejas Botin translates to Clams Booty or Plunder. It sounds more appealing to use the Spanish name for this recipe. Almejas Botin is a recipe said to have originated in the Spainish restaurant Sobrino de Botin, located just outside of Madrid in the 18th century. The restaurant was founded by a French cook named Jean Botin who moved to Madrid together with his wife, a Spanish woman from Asturias.  The Guinness Book of World Records notes that it is quite possible that during the 19th century, the Spanish painter Francisco Goya worked as a dishwasher in Sobrino de Botin before he reached fame. Throughout its long and fabled history a myriad of celebrities have enjoyed its delicious food including Ernest Hemingway.

It is considered by the Guinness World Book of Records as the oldest restaurant still in operation today. Here is the recipe for Almedas Botin or Clams Booty originated at the Sobrino de Botin.  Enjoy or as the Spainish say “disfrutar”!

Almejas Botin (Clam Booty)

2 lbs. littleneck clams
½ onion
1 bay leaf
½ hot pepper (optional)
2 cloves of garlic crushed with parsley
6 oz. dry white wine
¼ c. flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Brown a chopped onion along with some bay leaf and chili pepper (optional). Add tomato paste and let it cool for a few minutes. Place the littleneck clams, well washed and drained, into the mixture.  Add dry white wine and paprika.  Boil and add some flour. When the clams begin to open, add some garlic mashed with parsley. Once all the clams have opened, serve with a baguette.

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Mussels in Spaghetti Sauce with Linguini

In Christopher Setterlund’s book “Historic Restaurants of Cape Cod” he describes the landmark restaurants that over the years that became synonymous with the Cape.  He provides the reader with a history of 39 restaurants which introduced locals and tourists alike to outstanding food.  In the era of the 1960s when great Italian food was not easily found on the Cape, Danny-Kay’s Italian Restaurant in East Falmouth was the place to go. The Bartolomei family operated the restaurant for over 28 years.  You might have found an old Italian recipe for Mussels with Linguini in Spaghetti Sauce at Danny-Kay’s.

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Mussels in Spaghetti Sauce with Linguini
serves 6-8

4 lbs. mussels, scrubbed & debearded
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, diced thin
2 lemons, sliced thin
2 28 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 c. red wine
1 1/2 tbsp. oregano
1 1/2 tbsp. basil
1/8 tsp. red pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 lbs. linguini fini
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Scrub mussels well in cold water, changing water several times to remove all sand – the little tuft of hair is easily removed by pulling it out and discarding it (this is called “debearding” the mussels).

Steam mussels until shells open then set aside. Saute onion and garlic in oil in 6-quart pot.  When onions are golden and soft, add lemon slices, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano, basil, peppers and salt.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.  Then simmer uncovered until sauce thickens.

Add cooled mussels to sauce.  Cover and cook over medium to high heat just long enough to heat mussels.  While mussels are being heated, cook linguini according to directions and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking. Cover linguini with mussels and spaghetti sauce. sprinkle parsley. Serve while hot.

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