Saturday, October 08, 2005


Stuffed little neck clams, Cod over pureed yam with sugarsnap peapods and blackened scallions

Ciao amici,

I admit it, I'm crazy for little necks and try to eat the little luscious darlings at least once a week. Sometimes raw with a squirt of lemon juice and a dab of horseradish; sometimes steamed with garlic, tomatoes, rapini; and sometimes stuffed with pancetta, greens, red pepper and minced herbs. That's how I prepared them for the first course of this dinner. And they were favoloso! The combination of the smokey pancetta and the slightly bitter taste of the rapini was just enough to enhance the sweetness of the clams. Ooooh, they were spectacular.

The clams were followed by fillet of cod over pureed yam with sugarsnap peas and blackened scallions.

Here are the recipes. Enjoy preparing and then eating this healthy, delicious meal!

Buon appetito a tutti!

Little necks stuffed with pancetta, red pepper, rapini and minced herbs

10 little neck clams, washed and scrubbed
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ounces pancetta, minced
3 tablespoons minced red pepper
1 cup (full) cut up rapini green leaves, washed
browned bread crumbs and grated parmesean cheese (optional)

You have to get the clams to open up before you can stuff them, and here's a trick I use to achieve that. I preheat the oven to 350 degrees, after it reaches temperature, I shut off the oven and put the washed and scrubbed clams in an ovenproof dish in the oven and leave them there for about 5 to 10 minutes, watching to see when the shells open up. When that happens, I take the clams out of the oven and let them cool. (They are partially cooked at this point.) After they've cooled down, I pull away the top shell, and throw it out, then with a sharp paring knife, I cut the clam away from the shell it is nestled in and leave it there to be "stuffed" after making the stuffing.


Saute the garlic in the olive oil until tender. Do not allow to burn. Add the pancetta and cook to done, add the minced red pepper. Cook for a minute, then add the rapini, and cook until it wilts. Season to taste, add minced combination of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, etc.).

With a teaspoon, scoop up a spoonful of stuffing and place on top of partially cooked clam in shell. Continue until all the clams are filled. If desired, sprinkle breadcrumbs and/or grated cheese over stuffing. Run under the broiler for a minute or two. Let cool a bit and serve immediately.

Fillet of cod over pureed yam with sugarsnap peapods and blackened scallions

3/4 lb. fresh fillet of cod, thick
1 yam
1 bulb of garlic, roasted
10 to 15 sugarsnap pea pod
1 bunch of scallions, ends cut off, slivered into thin strands
fresh lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the top of a bulb of garlic off, then sprinkle with a bit of olive oil, place in an ovenproof dish in 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile, boil the yam until soft, peel and puree by hand or in a food processor. Add some of the roasted garlic cloves (to your taste) and mash into the pureed yam.

Wash and dry the fillet of cod. Rub with olive oil, salt and pepper and squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the fillet. Place under the broiler and broil until done. About 5 minutes per inch of fillet. When the fillet takes on color, I shut off broiler, close the oven door and let the fish continue to cook until the flesh is flakey. Do not overcook.

Meanwhile, take the slivered scallions and place in a saute pan with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) and stir over high heat until they take on deep charred color and become crisp. Set aside.

Place the sugarsnap peapods in another saute pan with olive oil and heat through for about 1 to 2 minutes, no more. Keep the sugarsnaps crisp. Season with salt and pepper.


Put a mound of the pureed yam/garlic mixture on a dish. Place a piece of the broiled cod on top and then a "tangle" of the charred scallions over the fish. Place the sugarsnap peapods around the yam/fish assembly.

Serve immediately.

It sounds like this is complicated. It isn't. Boil a yam, broil a piece of fish, saute some peapods and onions. That's it. Simple. Healthy. And beautifu to look at and to eat.


Not a fan of pureed yam (or yam or sweet potato in any form) but the rest of it looks wonderful. And shellfish of any description will be a winner with me. I unfortunately don't have good access to fresh fish out here in the boonies, unlike in Vancouver. One day... Perhaps the seafood truck comes through once in a while... Oh, his stuff is all frozen... Grrr...
hiya! i made an appetizer recently inspired by one of your posts (mozarella, proscuitto, sliced tomatoes, basil, etc.). of course, i couldn't find your recipe when i needed it, but i improvised. i usually make this dish without the proscuitto, but after seeing your picture, i decided to do it and it was great. thanks! ;)
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