Tasty clams and white bean broth
CHRIS’S KITCHEN | This week I head to the local fishmonger for a couple of handfuls of baby clams, so I can whip up an old favorite I learnt to cook while working in Italy.
THIS week sees me heading to the local fishmonger for a couple of handfuls of baby clams, so I can whip up an old favorite I learnt to cook while working in Italy.
Although considered by true Italians to be a dish only eaten in summer, we’re going to throw the clams in with some warm tomato broth and fresh basil to give it a winter flavor.
Cannellini beans, small white kidney shaped energy boosting morsels, are a perfect addition. Also great in salads and casseroles, dried cannellini beans need to be soaked for 10 minutes in cold water before cooking.
The best thing about clams is that they require very little preparation. Just make sure they’re live when you buy them – check the shells are unbroken and stay shut tight when tapped. Give them a rinse under cold water to remove any sand or sea grass and they’re good to go!
Make sure you have a large heavy based pot before you start, and well-proportioned soup bowls to dish out this tasty broth.
What you need:
500g live surf clams, or small black lip mussels if clams are unavailable
300g tinned cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp of dried chili flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
½ cup of white wine
300g soaked and drained cannellini beans
¼ bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ bunch of fresh basil leaves
What to do:
1. Heat your pan over a medium to high heat. Add a good splash of oil.
2. Place the clams into the pan; be careful, as the clams will produce steam. Add the white wine and reduce.
3. Add the chili, garlic, and tomatoes and turn down the heat to a medium boil.
4. Add the beans and cook for 12 mins until the beans are just soft.
5. Add the basil leaves and season with freshly cracked black pepper and salt.
6. Remove from the heat and divide into large bowls. Sprinkle over the fresh parsley and a small splash of olive oil to finish.
A few thick grilled wedges of fresh sourdough make the perfect side. Enjoy!