Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Clams Rapini with Tomatoes and Pancetta

My first ever post on The Hungry Blogger was a recipe for clams oreganata.

I live by the sea; and each day as I inhale the scent of the salt on the east wind, I think of ways of preparing the fruits of the Atlantic to capture the freshness and essence of il mare . That something usually involves clams. Or mussels. Or scallops. Or clams. Or clams.

Here in the Northeast, we have the quahog (Mercenaria mercenaria--pronounced KO-hog) and this mollusk is generally used in chowders, clam pie, or fritters . The smaller of the quahogs (2 1/2 to 3 inches) are the cherrystones, and the smallest (2 1/2 inches or less) are the little neck clams. Little necks and cherrystones are eaten raw with a squeeze or lemon and a dab of tabasco and horseradish. Of course they can be used in the classic clams casino or any other way your imagination allows.

I used little necksfor this recipe, as I did for my first post, clams oreganata. But this time I combined the clams with the queen of green leafy vegetables, broccoli raab (or rapini) tomatoes, pancetta, garlic and shallots.

I think I did justice to this little prince of the sea, and here is the recipe so that you, too, may revel in the joy of the little neck.

Clams rapini with tomatoes and pancetta (serves 2)

2 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed and washed
4 oz. pancetta (or unsmoked bacon) cut into strips
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 shallot thinly sliced
14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups thoroughly washed rapini greens (broccoli raab), with stems cut off
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons of minced fresh herbs (parsley, mint, thyme, tarragon, etc.)

Cook the pancetta in a large fry pan, big enough to hold the clams, until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Saute the garlic and shallot in the pan in which you cooked the pancetta. Add a bit of olive oil if needed. Saute the garlic and shallot until tender (about 2 minutes). Add the tomatoes and cook about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook another 2 minutes.

Add the clams, cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, cook about 5 minutes. Add the rapini, cover and continue to cook until the clams completely open (about another 5 minutes).

Divide the clams, rapini and tomatoes between two shallow bowls. Top with the pancetta, drizzle with olive oil and minced herbs.

(This can be served over linguini if you so desire.)

Serve with crusty bread and a dry white wine (a chenin blanc is nice, or a dry Vouvray).

Listen to the music of Astor Piazzola .

You will love the little neck for eternity.

Buon appetito, amici!


Even your name is perfect for someone who loves food! Thanks for dropping into my site. I'll definitely come back regularly to read yours.
sounds wonderful, next time I go to the eastern market in Detroit, I will have to see if little neck clams are available.

You really must visit and cook for us hopelessly midwestern types sometime!
Hi, Isabella. I really like your site! You've been bookmarked, and I'll post a link from my page to yours. I hope you'll do the same!

Warm Butter Review
Once again, another delicious-looking meal! And the photo you took of it is fantastic, too. You sure you weren't a food photographer in another life? Perhaps we should collaborate on a cookbook one of these days...

I love clams, but in Ottawa had little access to fresh ones. Had to make do with canned. I'm closer to the west coast now, so I'll see if I can find some decent ones here. The people I'm staying with right now may have a lobster/seafood boil next month and I am so looking forward to it!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Silktide SiteScore for this website