While the recipe did turn out in the end as described in the book, it wasn’t withough significant additional flavours including sage, chili pepper, chicken broth, cream and extra olive oil and garlic. It’s still amazing to me how an experienced cook knows exactly what flavours work with which main ingredient.
I think I went wrong off the top when trying to figure out how much of the clams to use. The recipe calls for 4 pounds of clams, but in retrospect I think this means including the shells, not the already cleaned ones I was using that come out of the freezer or a can.
I think this is a shortfall of many cookbooks. They’re not detailed enough when it comes to ingredients, or using substitutions if the fresh product isn’t available. It’s not a criticism of this book in particular, (I’ll have to try a few more recipes before I draw any conclusions) but an observation from someone who owns far too many cookbooks.
So, long story short, I’m going to lay off the ingredients that are a little out of my league, unless I’m working with someone with far more experience than I.