Clams with Garlic Sauce

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 1h 5m
  • Rating ****

4 Servings

Garlic, parsley and chili brighten this dish of tender clams. Soaking the clams in water laced with cornmeal helps remove any sand they might contain.


  • For the Clams:
  • 3 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small dried red chili
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • A few saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup fish stock or 1/4 cup bottled clam juice diluted with 1/4 cup of water



In a bowl, cover the clams and cornmeal with water; add the salt. Soak for 45 minutes; drain and rinse. Heat the oil in a nonreactive skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent. Add the clams, wine, lemon juice, chili, bay leaves, paprika and pepper. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring; remove the clams as they open.


In a blender or mini-processor, puree the garlic with 5 tablespoons of the parsley and the saffron. Add the fish stock and the garlic mixture to the skillet and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.


Divide the clams among 4 soup plates, spoon the garlic sauce on top and garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.


The garlicky clams might be paired with a number of whites, but the sharpness of the vinaigrette would diminish the taste of rich, round bottlings. Stick with tart, simple whites, such as those from Spain, notably the 1993 Conde de Valdemar Blanco en Barrica or the 1994 Albari–o Lagar de Cervera.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 3557

nutrition information per serving

265 calories; 15g total fat; 28mg cholesterol; 1556mg sodium; 20g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 13g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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