Calabrian Clams

Recommended Pairing: Cast Wines 2019 Barrel-Aged Sauvignon Blanc

 

THE RECIPE:

SEVEN-INGREDIENT CALABRIAN CLAMS


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Servings: two generous appetizer servings


INGREDIENTS

2 lbs littleneck clams (1 lb per person)

5 oz diced pancetta

2 cloves garlic, grated

1-2 tablespoons calabrian chili paste (depending on heat preference)

1 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) peas

1 lemon, halved


PREPARATION

1. Place clams in a bowl and submerge completely with cool water. Let sit for 20-minutes (1-hour max) to allow clams to filter out any sand. This process is called “purging” and you’ll thank yourself later for not skipping this step. Remove from water, drain and rinse well just before cooking.

2. **Important: Examine your clams and discard any that are open and won’t close with a few taps to the shell.

3. Heat a 6-8 quart heavy-bottomed pot and add pancetta. Cook pancetta over medium-low heat until fat is well rendered and meat has crisped nicely.

4. Add grated garlic and Calabrian chili paste. Stir to quickly cook, just until garlic becomes fragrant. Add white wine, stir well, and let simmer for 3-4 minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off.

5. Add peas and clams to pot, stir once and cover tightly with lid. Let cook for 4-5 minutes, then uncover and stir clams again.

6. As the clams begin to open, use long tongs to remove open clams and place in serving bowl. This process will go quickly. If you have a few stragglers, give them a few more minutes and stirs. If a clam does not open after 10-minutes of cooking, discard it.

7. Pour broth over clams and squeeze one half of the lemon over top.

8. Garnish with remaining lemon cut into wedges and some (optional) flat leaf parsley for more color.

9. Serve clams on their own or with some crusty bread to soak up the broth. Enjoy!

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Cast Wines, Dry Creek Valley