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Vongole in Brodetto
(Clams in Broth)
Makes 2 First Courses
*3 ounces (6 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
*1/2 clove garlic, thinly sliced
*Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
*20 to 24 top neck or cockle clams, cleaned (smaller is better - large clams are too tough; littleneck or mahogany clams may be substituted)
*2 ounces (1/4 cup) white wine
*2 ounces (1/4 cup) water
*1 pinch fresh thyme leaves (optional)
*1 tablespoon roughly chopped Italian parsley
1Place the olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pot and cook over high heat until the garlic is golden brown.
2Add a small pinch each of salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
3Add the clams, white wine, water and the thyme (if you are using it).
4Cover and cook over high heat until all of the clams open, shaking the pan once or twice to allow the clams room enough to open.
5Taste the broth for seasoning and adjust with more salt, pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, if needed.
6Throw in the chopped parsley, divide everything between two bowls and serve with plenty of grilled bread.
  • ON CLEANING CLAMS: Nobody likes to eat sand, this I am sure of. Since clams insist on burying themselves in it, they have to be purged of all that irritating grit before they can be enjoyed to their fullest. Here is a really slick trick to make them spit out their sand before they are cooked: Add a few capfuls of vinegar to about 3 quarts of cold water in a deep bowl and submerge the clams for 10 to 15 minutes. Use plain white vinegar; it's cheap and clams aren't particular. You'll be amazed how much sand they can give off and grateful it didn't end up in your dinner.
  • The juices released by the clams flavor the sauce for some ultimate dipping, so canned clams are strictly banned from this recipe.
  • Choose a lidded, deep sauce pot for steaming the clams. They should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pan.
  • To grill perfect bread, use day-old bread rather than fresh. Preheat the grill to high, and when the rack is good and hot, lower the heat to medium. Drizzle the bread with extra-virgin olive oil before placing it on the grill. Grill the bread until each side is lightly charred.
  • Source
    Chef/Owner Michael Schlow, Radius, Via Matta and Great Bay Restaurants, Boston, MA