Spicy Steamed Clams

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

A loaf of aromatic toasted garlic bread is a great accompaniment to this dish. To make garlic bread, melt 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter with 1 minced garlic clove. Cut a baguette in half lengthwise. Using a pastry brush, brush the garlic butter on the bread. Toast the baguette in a preheated broiler until golden brown.


  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (16 oz.) whole plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 to 3 lb. small clams, such as littleneck or Manila, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil


Cook the onion and tomatoes
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper flakes, season with salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juice and cook, stirring, to blend the flavors, for 2 minutes more.

Steam the clams
Increase the heat to high and stir in the wine. Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any empty shells or unopened clams. Divide the clams among serving bowls, top with the broth, sprinkle with the basil and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, One Pot, by Carrolyn Carreño (Oxmoor House, 2008).

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