1.10.2014

steamed clams in spicy tomato sauce

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  tbd
servings:  4

ingredients:
4.5 pounds clams
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 small onion - minced
4 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 strip of orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
pinch of saffron
salt
pepper
3 - 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
lemon juice

steps:
1.  rinse the clams in several changes of water and scrub with a small brush, such as a toothbrush.  discard any that are open or that have cracked shells.

2.  place the wine in a large, lidded pan that will accommodate all of the clams.  bring to a boil and reduce by half.  add the clams, cover and cook over high heat, shaking the pan from time to time, for 2 - 3 minutes, until the clams open.  remove from the heat.  discard any clams that have not opened.

3.  set a strainer over a bowl, line with cheesecloth and drain the clams.  set the liquid and the clams aside in separate bowls.

4.  heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide, lidded skillet or casserole and add the shallots.  cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes,, and add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds - 1 minute, and add the tomatoes and juice, the sugar, orange zest, thyme, saffron, and the liquid from the clams.  add salt and pepper to taste, bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat and simmer 20 - 25 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture has cooed down and is very fragrant.  taste and adjust seasonings.

5.  stir the clams into the tomato sauce and heat through, stirring.  add the parsley, stir again, and serve in wide soup bowls.  drizzle a little olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice over each serving.

- new york times, december 2013

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