Our firstborn is very adventurous eater for a young lad. He is also generous with compliments for a well-made meal and an energetic supporter of particular dishes. He loves my father’s steamed clams. Love is actually a bit of an understatement. He yearns for them. They are requested on holidays and for birthdays (well before a request is made for cake). Clams or cake, what does your pre-teen prefer? I know what mine does, and the answer does not involve frosting.
Steamed Clams (8 small servings)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 28-ounce can Italian whole peeled plum tomatoes
- 12 ounces chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- a pinch of saffron
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
- 5 pounds small Manila clams
Heat olive oil in large pan. Sauté onions, shallot, and red pepper flakes until onions and shallots are transparent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Then add the plum tomatoes with their juice, wine, chicken stock, saffron, tomato paste, salt, and peppers. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer. Simmer for ten minutes.
Wash the clams carefully, discard any that are open, cracked or broken.
Add the clams to the simmering broth. Bring back to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 5-6 minutes. Add the chopped parsley. Discard any clams that have not opened. Bring to the table. Serve in low flat bowls with hearty, crusty, warm bread and the best white wine you can afford.