Italian Clams in Tomato and Herb Sauce

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“A delicious dish that looks fancy but is actually quite easy to make. A good dish for entertaining! Adapted from "The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook" published by Borders. Mussels can be used in place of clams. Make sure your clams aren't too small... you're eating them out of the shell!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Buy your clams the same day you intend to cook them. This ensures that you will have as few dead clams as possible.
  2. Store your clams in the fridge in a colander, covered loosely with a damp paper towel.
  3. Chop the tomatoes in a food processor until they are finely diced (not yet pasty).
  4. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for about a minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and sugar to taste (about 1/2 tsp). Simmer for at least 1/2 hour, preferably for a whole hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 315 degrees. Slice your bread to 1/2 inch thickness. Spread a little olive oil on each slice. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. If necessary, scrub and de-beard your clams. Any clams that have broken shells must be thrown out. Any shells that are open and will not close when tapped on the counter must be thrown out.
  8. Food process the onion until it is finely diced.
  9. Put 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet that has a lid. Heat, then add onion and cook about 3 minutes. Do not brown.
  10. Add the sprigs of parsley and thyme to the pan and cook another 30 seconds, then add the wine. Boil, then simmer 5 minutes.
  11. Add the clams that did not get thrown out. Cover, turn the heat to high and cook 5-8 minutes, or until the clams have opened. Shake the pan frequently to stir, but do not take off the lid.
  12. After clams have opened, remove from heat. Throw out any clams that did not open (they were dead before you started cooking).
  13. Strain the cooking liquid into the tomato sauce. Throw out the sprigs and the onion.
  14. Place toasted bread in a ring around the outside of the serving bowl. Place the clams in the middle of the bowl and pour the tomato sauce over them.
  15. Garnish with chopped parsley and thyme.

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