Manila Clams with Fennel-Cured Salami
When you have great fresh clams, this is the dish to make. Clams and salami aren’t a common combination, but it’s such a pleasure to alternate between bites of the dense, spicy meat and the silky, sea-tasting clams all in a wine and garlic broth. Once you’ve tried this, clams without salami may seem a bit lackluster. I particularly like a fennel-cured salami, but you can substitute sausages here, too. If it is summer, throw in some corn for a shot of sweetness.
I like to serve this in a wide, flat bowl, either topped with croutons or served with slices of a hearty bread for soaking up the last of the good wine-garlic broth.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Taste and Texturebuttery, meaty, salty, savory
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup sliced fennel-cured salami or other spicy Italian sausage
- 2 head, garlic (about 30 cloves), finely chopped
- 20 to 24 fresh Manila clams
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Roasted Chicken Stock
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chilled unsalted butter, broken into small pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 slices rustic, crusty bread, toasted
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the salami. Sauté slowly until the salami begins to brown and caramelize slightly on the surface. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the garlic softens without browning.
Raise the heat slightly. Immediately add the clams and white wine to the pan with the garlic and salami. Bring the wine to a simmer. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula or spoon to deglaze, loosening any browned bits. Add the chicken stock and continue to cook over medium-high heat, bringing the mixture to a steady simmer until all of the clam shells have opened. Reduce the heat to low and discard any clams that have failed to open. Add the bits of butter to the pan and stir them into the mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning with pepper. Add salt if you like, but sparingly since the salami contributes salt to the flavor of this dish. Spoon into 6 small shallow bowls and top each with 1 slice of the toasted bread and a sprinkling of parsley and oregano. (If you prefer, serve right from the hot skillet, letting guests help themselves to clams, toast, and herbs.)
2004 Catherine Cora