Monday, September 23, 2013

Clam Stew with Greens and Tomatoes

For the clam lovers in your life, this one is easy and anyone who tries it will be happy as a ...., well you know.  It's another recipe from Domenica Marchetti's recently published cookbook "The Glorious Vegetables of Italy." Domenica uses Tuscan kale and savoy cabbage in her recipe, but since I had swiss chard growing in the garden, that's what I substituted. It's my favorite of all the greens, and it worked perfectly here. 

The recipe says it makes up to 6 servings, but I guess we were gluttons. I've made it twice now, and both times as a main course. Two of us finished the whole thing - all four dozen clams. For more moderate eaters, or as a first course, it would stretch further.

Clam Stew With Greens and Tomatoes


  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced paper thin

  • 8 oz./225 gr. Tuscan kale, coarsely shredded

  • 8 oz./225 gr. Savoy cabbage (use the dark outer leaves), halved lengthwise and shredded

  • fine sea salt

  • generous pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1 cups/480 gr. chopped canned tomatoes, with their juice


  • 1/4 cup/60 ml. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 T. minced garlic

  • generous pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup/240 ml. dry white wine

  • 4 dozen fresh littleneck or other small clams, scrubbed clean

4 to 6 thick slices bruschetta (toasted or grilled bread slices)

To make the greens: Warm the olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan or deep-sided skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic is soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the greens by the handful - as much as will fit in the pan. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the greens begin to wilt. Continue to add more greens to the pan and cook until they are all wilted. Season with salt and the red pepper flakes and cover. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover partially, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have thickened slightly to a sauce consistency.

To cook the clams: While the greens are cooking, warm the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine. Add the clams and cover the pan. Cook the clams at a lively simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until they just open. Using tongs, remove the clams to a large bowl as they open; discard any that are not open. Once all the clams have been removed, strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with damp cheesecloth into a small bowl. Pour the strained liquid into the saucepan with the greens, and then add the clams. Usinga large serving spoon, gently incorporate the clams into the greens. Heat briefly until the greens and clams are warmed through.

Place a slice of bruschetta in the bottom of four or six shallow rimmed bowls. Spoon the clams and greens, as well as some of the liquid, into each bowl and serve.

Pancetta variation: Put 1 to 2 oz/30 to 55 g. diced pancetta in the large saucepan where you will cook the greens. Do this before you add the sliced garlic. Cook until the pancetta is just crisp and has rendered some fat. Add the garlic, and 1 T. of oil if you like, and proceed with the recipe as directed.

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  1. I've never eaten clams and I'm not a big fan of molluscs, but I'd definitely love to try your dish. It looks really tasty!



  2. That last photo just makes you want to dig right in, I just love the addition of the kale or swiss chard! Beautiful dish!

  3. You just made mas happy as a ... well you know... love Swiss chard with this - altho' my kale is out of control. But mmm all those delicious clams!

  4. I love fresh clams and swiss chard so this dish makes my mouth water!

  5. What a beautiful dish. It looks positively tantalizing - and remarkably, I do not eat clams! I particularly love the way the toasty bread looks sitting there all ready to fare la scarpetta!

  6. Linda, your photo is so tantalizing. I was a bit unsure about adding this to the book, since it's not really classic. But when I tested it I really enjoyed it, as did my family. Happy to know you did as well. But maybe I should revisit that serving size...

  7. Deliziosa la tua zuppa di vongole, ottima idea la versione con i pomododri verdi. un abbraccio Daniela.

  8. Mmmm...this looks delicious. I've been meaning to test out this recipe. My kids love clams so much that perhaps they'll willingly eat their greens!

  9. DELICIOUS! Reminds me of my dad's clam sauce, except he makes me white clam sauce whenever I go home.... MMMMM so good! :)