It can be a challenge to throw together a dish that pleases a crowd, is fast, and doesn’t break the bank. Today it’s very easy to depend on pre-packaged foods as the go-to for convenience when entertaining. But, some of the best foods for sharing cannot be packaged and luckily are quick, easy, and inexpensive. A buttery, garlicky bowl full of steamed clams and a freshly baked loaf of Italian bread are all you need to draw a circle of friends or family around the table. This dish is so easy, and pairs well with a crisp cold white wine. This is a dish for your Not Shy groups who have no problem digging into a community bowl of deliciousness or fighting you for the last bit of liquid to dip their fresh, crusty bread into!
1 pound of ground Italian sausage
3 pounds of fresh clams (scrubbed and cleaned, instructions below)
½ white onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 bottle of dry white wine
¼ cup butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Serves 4-6 people
- Clean those clams – they have sand in and on them usually, so, here are some easy ways to make sure they are clean:
- If any of the clams are open, gently tap them against the counter top (discard any clams that do not close their shells back up after a few minutes)
- Place all clams into a large pot full of cool tap water and add a little black pepper to it. Let clams sit for about 20 minutes.
- When you’re ready to cook (but not until then!), pull each clam from the pot and scrub the shell to clean anything off the surface.
- Have a large pot with tightly fitting lid ready on the stove
- To the large pot, add the olive oil, diced onions, and garlic and sauté over low-to-medium heat for 2-3 minutes
- Brown the sausage in a stick-proof pan, then add it to the large pot
- Add clams, half the butter, a pinch of salt, and about 2 cups of wine (you can use a little more or a little less depending on how much liquid you want for dipping bread)
- Cover the pot, and allow clams to steam – around 10 minutes, or until they are all fully open (a clear lid is ideal to keep watch)
- Once done, stir in the remaining butter, and pour everything into a large, deep serving bowl.
- Garnish with the parsley and Parmesan, and serve with sliced bread and your favorite white wine.