In honour of the 35th anniversary of Murder, She Wrote (which premiered September 30th 1984), the wonderfully delicious website Silver Screen Suppers is hosting a Murder, She Wrote cook-along this week. The purpose of the cook-along is to test out various recipes by MSW cast members and guest stars, with each person who participates making something different.
I signed up to make “Tom Bosley’s Linguine With Red Clam Sauce”.
I was very glad to have picked what turned out to be a very simple recipe. I’ve been sick all weekend, and the last thing I wanted to do was spend hours in the kitchen trying something complicated. This took a little over half an hour to make, but I was also taking pictures to document it so it probably would have taken less time if I was just focused on cooking.
Pro-tip: set your pasta water on the stove to boil while you work on the sauce — I forgot to do that and then stood around in the kitchen for 15 minutes just waiting for water to boil.
What follows is a breakdown of the ingredients and cooking directions, including comments on any adjustments and substitutions.
The main adjustment I had to make was increasing the ingredient amounts. The original recipe called for 625ml of crushed tomatoes, but my canned tomatoes were 796ml and I wasn’t about to not use the whole can. So I slightly raised the amounts for the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium pot, I sauteed a medium-sized onion and three cloves of garlic in about 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Then I added the can of crushed tomatoes.
- Then I added 1/2 tsp dried oregano, some chopped fresh parsley (recipe called for 2 tbsp but I’ve no idea how anyone can measure fresh herbs like that so let’s just say I put in “a handful”), and some fresh basil (recipe called for 1/4 tsp dried basil but I put in about 5 leaves-worth of fresh).
- Finally, salt and pepper to taste.
The sauce was pretty much done at that point. The only thing left was the clams, but I’ve never actually eaten clams before and I wasn’t sure how well I could stomach them when I was already feeling sick. So instead, I took a small saucepan, put a cup of the sauce into it, then added some clams to that. I figured I could try it and see how I liked it, and if I didn’t like it then it’s not like I ruined all the sauce.
The original recipe called for 1 cup of canned and drained baby clams for the whole sauce. Eyeballing it, I’d say I used about 1/4 cup to put into my 1 cup of reserved red sauce.
As per the recipe directions, after letting it simmer for 15 minutes, I served the sauce over cooked linguine and topped with grated parmesan. As per my own tastes, I also garnished with more fresh basil.
When I first looked at the recipe, I didn’t think it was going to be anything special, but after serving it to my husband he couldn’t stop talking about how good it was.
Also, it turned out we both liked the sauce with the clams, so when it came time to pack away the left-overs we ended up mixing the two sauces together. We still have a 350 ml jar of sauce in the fridge after we had our fill of pasta and sauce so we can have the same dinner tomorrow.
I believe that Silver Screen Suppers plans to publish their own Murder, She Wrote cookbook, but there’s also one that was published in 1997 after the show ended that some fans may be interested in. From what I know, the book is no longer in print, but it’s sometimes possible to buy a used copy through Amazon.