Tuesday, May 4, 2010

House Specialty Clams: Spanish Tapas Style

James would probably be perfectly happy if every couple days I carried out a big dish of spaghetti with clam sauce. I like to try something new every now and again. Since we love clams I thought today was a perfect time to starting building a repertoire of dishes for friends and company while still keeping our old stand by in the background. Besides, I wanted a recipe to try out my new cazeula.
While tooling around the internet I saw a recipe from Anya Von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table, a terrific collection of new and traditional Spanish recipes, for a tapas of Manilla clams (our house favorite) with prosciutto, olive oil and pine nuts. That's a combination I never would have imagined.
I heated 1 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat and tossed in 4 sliced cloves of garlic and 3 oz of chopped prosciutto (I wish I had jamon Serrano --- mmmmm). Into the hot oil went 2/3 cup of pine nuts. When the nuts were a warm golden color, I added in 2 lbs of scrubbed manila clams, covered the pot and left it on the fire for about 6 minutes until all the clams had opened. Just before serving with toasty bread for dipping I tossed in some chopped parsley and sprinkled the dish with coarse salt.
For company I might serve his on tiny plates arranged to show off the toasty pine nuts, delicate seafood forks at the ready. For a weeknight dunking straight in the cooking pot was good (more than good) for us.

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