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Linguine Alle Vongole with Seaweed Pesto

Serves 4


    Linguine Alle Vongole with Seaweed Pesto

    This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations.


    Double-duty pesto

    Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.


    Linguine Alle Vongole with Seaweed Pesto


      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) packed wakame
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pine nuts or hulled sunflower seeds
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) packed fresh basil, stems reserved
      • 1 green onion, roughly chopped
      • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) lemon juice
      • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
      • 3 in (8 cm) square piece kombu, wiped with damp paper towel
      • 2 lbs (1 kg) small clams, from a sustainable source, scrubbed clean
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
      • 1 or 2 dried red chilies, crumbled (optional)
      • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
      • 16 oz (450 g) kelp noodles, or 9 oz (250 g) flour-based linguine


      Per serving:

      • calories197
      • protein9 g
      • total fat 10 g
        • sat. fat1 g
      • total carbohydrates 19 g
        • sugars8 g
        • fibre9 g
      • sodium363 mg



      In small bowl, combine wakame with 1/2 cup (125 mL) boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften.


      In small pan over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts or sunflower seeds for 4 minutes, or until golden, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to blender with basil leaves, green onion, lemon juice, salt, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Drain wakame, reserving liquid, and add seaweed to blender. Blend to rough purée, adding soaking liquid as needed. Scrape pesto mixture into bowl.


      Rinse clams. Discard any that pop back open when squeezed shut.


      In large pot, combine wakame soaking liquid plus enough water to make 1 cup (250 mL). Add kombu and bring to boil. Add clams. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until clams open. Remove clams, pouring off liquid to reserve. Discard kombu.


      If using flour-based pasta, cook pasta according to box directions, until al dente.


      In same pot used to cook clams, heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over medium heat. Chop basil stems and add to pan with garlic and crumbled red chilies, if using. Cook for 1 minute. Deglaze with 1/2 cup (125 mL) clam cooking liquid. Add chopped tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add drained noodles or pasta and stir to coat.


      Remove from heat and stir in pesto. Return clams to pot (shelled or unshelled) and serve immediately.



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      Popcorn with Togarashi-Seaweed Spice Blend

      Popcorn with Togarashi-Seaweed Spice Blend

      Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.