I’ve been hesitant to post a shellfish recipe (but here we are, I clearly got over it). I like to avoid fussy, expensive or hard-to-find ingredients and instead focus on recipes you can easily replicate whether you live on the Atlantic coast or a in mountain town. Good quality fish and shellfish can be a bit hard to come by depending on where you live. But if you do have access to fresh seafood, shellfish (aside from lobster) is budget-friendly and very easy to prepare.
I love clams. Love them! I buy sweet littlenecks at the local Greenmarket from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, commercial fishermen based on Long Island. In the summer clams are delicious on the grill, but come winter I prefer to steam them. Using my freezer-friendly Simple Tomato Sauce and a little white wine, here’s a meal (or appetizer/first course) you can have on the table in under 15 minutes. Buy a white wine you’d enjoy drinking with shellfish and reserve 1/2 cup for cooking. I like to serve this alongside a green salad with crusty bread to soak up the tomato sauce.
To clean clams, run them under very cold water and scrub. If you have fresh clams that are open, gently tap them on your counter. Discard any clams that do not close, have broken shells or smell foul. And if any of your clams smell go back to the person that sold them and ask what the hell.
Steamed Littleneck Clams and Tomatoes
2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, or your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 dozen littleneck clams
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
1 small baguette, about 12 inches long
In a 4-quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot bring Simple Tomato Sauce and wine to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add clams to the pot and return to a simmer. Cover pot with a tight fitting lid and cook the clams until they open, about 4 to 8 minutes, shaking the pot once or twice. Discard any clams that do not open.
Serve clams in shallow bowls, topped with freshly ground black pepper, parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and some bread to soak up the yummy clam and tomato juices.
See more seasonal recipes from my Spring Crate.