Nothing makes me feel like more of a Kennedy than a bowl of New England Clam Chowder. It’s rich, it’s creamy, and it makes me incredibly sick. I am lactose intolerant and I am still willing to take the pain every so often. But there is hope. I made a dish last week that I had never made before. It was a take an southern Italian Clams in white wine sauce. And you now get to do make it too.
This is a relatively easy dish in that it’s hard to screw up as long as you keep an eye on things. There are two separate preparations in this dish. First is the creation of a Clam Stock. Second is the creation of the actual clam sauce. The stock is the key for some great flavour in the sauce.
1 Medium Stock Pot
12 Little Neck Clams*
Enough Water to cover the Clams in the pot
1 Cup dry acidicwhite wine. Trebbiano
2 Tbs sea salt
2 sage leaves
Before you do anything wash your clams and scrub them with some kind of brush or sponge. This will get any grit off the outside of the clams. Then place the clams in a pot with sea salt, cover the clams in hot water and white wine. Put the pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Keep the boil for about four minutes. This will open the clams and release any grit that inside them. Remove the clams and reduce heat, add the sage leaves. Pour the broth through a strainer, to catch any large pieces of shell that may be in the liquid, into a large container. Leave the container for 15 minutes. Any grit will settle to the bottom. Do not stir this or move it if possible.
1 finely chopped red onion.
1 Clove of Garlic smashed and chopped fine.
1/2 cup of white wine.
2 Roma Tomatoes (Diced)
The clams left over from the broth.**
1 Tbs Smoked Paprika
1 Container of clam stock
Sage from the stock.
Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the tomato and increase the heat on the sauce pan. Add the paprika. Let the mixture reduce a bit and then add a quarter cup of wine. Let the wine reduce by half and add the rest of the wine and a ladle of stock to deglaze. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste you sauce and add salt as needed. At this point you add your clams back into the sauce. You will let these simmer in the sauce for about two minutes just to reheat. Since you have already cooked you clams you only need to heat them up again and allow them to take on the flavour of the sauce. Serve.
What the hell am I going to do with this?
You are going to pour it over rice, quinoa, couscous. Or you are going to cook some linguini or another larger gauge pasta that is going to hold the sauce. Now you should toss the pasta in the sauce for about a minute, and serve.***
*I like little neck clams because they have a nice dense meat that is a little bit sweeter than their older brothers.
** You will want to take the clams out of their shells. Wash them to ensure no grit remains and leave whole.
***Pouring sauce over cooked already plated pasta is a sin. As is rinsing the pasta after it’s cooked. If you are going to have something starchy and bad for you, do it right.