Reviving Clams Posillipo

July 21st, 2013 § 0 comments

Clams Posillipo was one of the long time menu fixtures of New York’s red sauce Italian restaurants that has gradually faded into obscurity. A simple dish of clams steamed in a marinara sauce. On Prince Edward Island, fortunate HG/BSK can purchase very fresh cherrystone clams (known in these parts as quahogs) for less than five bucks a dozen. So, nostalgic HG/BSK decided to revisit this dish last night. BSK got busy chopping: onions, garlic, garlic scapes, basil, parsley, oregano. (Oops. BSK doesn’t chop basil — BSK tears the leaves apart). These are sauteed in olive oil. They go into a pot with good quality canned San Marzano plum tomatoes, white wine and clam broth. When all is boiling away, the clams are added. They get a dusting of red pepper flakes plus some Pimenton( smoked Spanish paprika). The clams are added and the pot is covered. Due to the magic clam clock in BSK’s head the heat is turned off the moment the clams open and before they turn rubbery. The result of BSK’s endeavor is a dish of tender clams floating in a magical, smoky broth redolent of the flavors of Italy and Spain. Chunks of ciabatta are dunked. BSK says the secret is slowly cooking the broth to develop full flavors and making sure the alcohol in the wine has burned off before adding the clams. Whatever. Sure tastes good.

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