Valentine’s Day falls into the category of “Holidays I Avoid Entering Public Spaces For.” Also in this category is St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Halloween. I sound like quite the holiday curmudgeon, but I have never been one for crowds or themed dress-up. Rather than scouring to obtain the elusive 7 p.m. reservation for two on Valentine’s evening at one of the nicest restaurants in town, I much prefer to cook for my husband at home. This is a meal where I go all out with multiple courses. Soup, an entree, salad, and a composed dessert that does not include coconut milk ice cream out of the carton hit our plates and palates once a year!
Last year when we were living in Atlanta (a place notorious for V-day reservation difficulties), I did my dinner shopping at Whole Foods on the afternoon of the 14th. BIG mistake. It was worse than grocery shopping the day before Christmas Eve! This year I plan to plan smarter. We are celebrating with a day pass to a local secluded resort which includes lunch from their organic farm, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be skipping my annual four-course celebration at home! Because really, love should be celebrated any old day of the year, and my husband and I have a lot to be grateful for in 2016!
This AIP-compliant linguine is quite simple and speedy to prepare! You will need a spiralizer, but you may be able to get away with julienning the zucchini into long flat noodles using a vegetable peeler and decreasing the cook time accordingly to prevent a soggy outcome.
Each ingredient has its special place in this recipe, so follow it to a “T”. Plain boiled baby clams may result in a flat taste since they have little flavor on their own, so do your best to seek out Crown Prince Smoked Baby Clams which contain just smoked clams, olive oil, and sea salt. You will find these in your canned seafood aisle. This recipe makes a moderate 1 to 1 1/2 cup portion per individual (depending on the size of your local zucchini) but it is so rich and satisfying that you’ll want to balance it out with a beautiful winter green salad. Happy Love Day to you all and remember this is a holiday not reserved for couples but for friends and family too!
- 2 large zucchini or 3 medium zucchini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- Pinch sea salt
- ⅓ cup coconut cream *(scooped from the top of a can of coconut milk)
- 2 tsp arrowroot starch, divided
- 4 tsp cold water, divided
- 2, 3-ounce containers of Crown Prince Smoked Baby Clams
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup finely chopped curly parsley
- Truffle salt, for serving (optional)
- Make zucchini noodles: Spiralize whole zucchini (with ends chopped off) into long noodles. I like to pull the noodles off the spiralizer as I am spiralizing to prevent noodles from being too long. Set aside zucchini noodles.
- Make linguine: Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Sautee onion and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and softened. Be sure not to burn the garlic.
- Stir in thyme, pinch sea salt, and coconut cream.
- Whisk together 1 teaspoon arrowroot with 2 teaspoons cold water in a small bowl to make a thin paste. Stir paste into the skillet immediately until the mixture thickens.
- Add entirety of smoked clams and apple cider vinegar to skillet. Stir to incorporate the clams. Using tongs, toss in zucchini noodles until coated by mixture.
- Bring heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to boil as you continuously toss the linguine until the zucchini is cooked with a firm bite, about 3 to 4 minutes. The noodles will have cooked down and the mixture will have a fair amount of liquid due to the release of moisture from the zucchini.
- Remove the skillet from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar. Make another paste out of remaining 1 teaspoon arrowroot and 2 teaspoons cold water in the same small bowl. Stir into skillet until creamy and thickened. Stir in parsley.
- Serve warm with a sprinkle of truffle salt, if desired, with a large green salad on the side.