Cooking Around the World

A couple of my friends, Mac and Bettye Salisbury, know of my fondness for cookbooks. And because of that, they’re occasionally giving me ones they’ve picked up over the years of browsing at thrift stores, flea markets and rummage sales.

The latest addition to my collection is the late Sheila Lukins’ All Around the World Cookbook, which was published in 1994.

Lukins, who died in 2009, was well-known in the food world, succeeding Julia Childs as food editor at Parade Magazine in 1986. She is the cook and co-author of The Silver Palate Cookbook, The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook and The New Basics Cookbook, all among the most popular ones every published.

After reading her introduction in All Around the World, I can’t wait to try some of the recipes it contains. Just about every section of the coobook — from the "First Bits and Small Plates" to the "Great Melting Pot" to the "The Grand Tour — has three or four recipes that piqued my interest.


The following recipe, from Lukins’ 2008 cookbook "Ten: All the Foods We Love and Ten Perfect Recipes for Each," is another that I’d like to try, especially since the Hugo’s supermarket on 32nd Avenue South occasionally has clams.

Sheila Lukins’ Spaghettini with Clams and Herb Sauce
6 ounces spaghettini (thin spaghetti)
2 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup bottled clam juice
¼ cup dry white wine
2 pounds little neck clams
2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup snipped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghettini and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, 2 minutes. Add clam juice and wine. Cover with a lid, raise the heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes to blend flavors. Add the clams, cover and simmer, shaking the pan, until they open, about 5 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
Transfer clams and their juices to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and scallions and toss. Sprinkle with the basil and tarragon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss lightly to combine.
Divide the spaghettini between 2 shallow bowls. Top with the clams and tomato sauce. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 560 calories, 26 percent of calories from fat, 16 grams fat (2.2 grams saturated), 23 milligrams cholesterol, 22.5 grams protein, 77 grams carbohydrates, 5.6 grams fiber, 198 milligrams sodium.