Clams Posillipo

Cooking With Rania - "Recipes for Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 11/28/2012

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Clams Posillipo
(revised 11/29/12)
¼ cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small fresh green chili, such as serrano or jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced into rings (wear latex gloves to protect your hands and wash your hands well after handling)
¼ cup crisp, light-bodied white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice
¼ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
3 dozen littleneck clams ~ well-rinsed and scrubbed of grit
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 loaf country bread or Baquette (optional)

Heat a large, heavy skillet, for which you have a tight-fitting lid, and which is wide enough to hold the clams in a single layer, over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat it until it shimmers, and is almost smoking. Add the garlic and chili and sauté until the garlic is fragrant but not at all browned, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour in the wine, stir, bring to a boil, and let boil until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, parsley and sugar. Bring the liquid to a simmer and let simmer for 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high and add the clams in a single layer.

Cover the pan tightly and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pan periodically to help the clams open, but not hard enough to shatter their shells. Lift the lid and stir the clams gently, taking care not to break their shells; they should be starting to open and exuding their juices. Cover the pan again and cook for about 3 more minutes. Lift the lid and use a slotted spoon to transfer all opened clams to a large serving bowl. Discard any clams that have not opened.

Bring the liquid in the skillet to a boil over high heat and reduce it slightly until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time.

Pour the sauce over the clams in the bowl and serve family style from the center of the table, with the bread alongside for dunking, if desired. Pass another bowl or two for empty shells.

Serves 4

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