Immediately following high school, I worked one season for an Italian Restaurant in Winsted, CT called Jessie’s. Jessie’s was co-owned by my father’s best man at his wedding, Pete Guglielmino and his sister, Diana. I just worked lunches, and it wasn’t super-busy. Pete would stop in now and then, but his charge was mostly dinner time. So, between the prep cook – a buddy also named Pete from my little league days – and Diana and I, the three of us became fast friends and enjoyed working together. Diana was a killer cook and I loved everything on her menu!
Now, Jessie’s has been closed for probably fifteen years, but when I left after my short time there, Diana was nice enough to let me take home a bunch of her recipes. Seeing that the place is closed, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing some of those with you all!
The great part about these recipes is that most of them are super easy to make, since restaurant cooking is all about whipping up something fast. Don’t be afraid to take some liberties – these are basically shorthanded notes that Di would refer to in order to jog her memory, and you can’t really screw it up!
The first one is called Duke’s Clam Sauce. Here goes:
2 1/4 cups Olive Oil
3/4 cups Margarine
6 cups Chopped Clams
4 cups Clam Juice
2 – 10 oz. cans of Whole Baby Clams
1/3 cup Chopped Anchovies
2 1/2 tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon Onion Flakes
1 tablespoon Red Crushed Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 1/4 cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 1/4 cups Marinara Sauce
Here’s the easy part, as promised: Cook slowly on Med High in a large pot, stirring often!
This is perfect for another recipe she called Seafood Lucia, so here’s your bonus:
- Simmer and steam some Duke’s Clam Sauce with fresh fish like halibut, tuna, swordfish, etc., until nearly cooked
- Add 3 raw shrimp
- Add 3 steamed clams (slice open, set in water on stove, covered, until they open completely)
- Serve over pasta and garnish with lemon and parsley!
Now remember, this is a one-plate recipe, so double for a party of two!
I can’t wait to share more of my favorite recipes with you. My Dad is an awesome cook too, so you’re in for some treats!