Zuppa di Vongole

March 6, 2008


Clam chowder, clambakes, marinated, fried, steamed, stuffed, oh my!

However you like them, and wherever you are from, there seems to be a myriad of delicious way to prepare them. Last night we dressed up our buttery little Manila clams in a garlic white wine soup.

Zuppa di Vongole (Clam Soup)

  • 3 dozen small hardshell clams (we used Manila)
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Approx. 15 fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 C dry white wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 T Italian parsley, chopped
  • Optional: fennel, red pepper flakes, fresh chopped tarragon or 1 tablespoon of Pernod

Scrub and rinse the clams under cool running water. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over a medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté over medium heat until soft, but not browned. Then, add the tomatoes and wine and cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Toss in the clams and salt, cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes. All the clams should be open after this cooking period. If any remain closed, throw them away. Add the parsley, stir, and serve. For added deliciousness, serve with toasted bread drizzled with white truffle oil.

La vita é bella!

Other great ways to prepare your clams:

Most of my family is in the San Francisco area. For as long as I can remember my grandmother has made cioppino every Christmas eve. There's nothing better than tying on that big flour sac bib and tucking into a big bowl, juices dripping down your arms. Here's a James Beard-adapted cioppino recipe from Simply Recipes.

Grilled Clams on the Half Shell with Ginger Mignonnette from Laura the Lobster Lady

New England Style Clam Chowder from Cooking For Engineers