05 Sep2007


Forget the explosive clam or two for a moment; and assume you have a sterling source of these delicious shellfish. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them and it is so incredibly easy to make. The clams I used in this particular recipe had a funny moss on them, so instead of the usual throw it all into one pot method for this dish, I steamed the clams separately, then spooned the sauce onto each clam and stuck them in a hot oven for several minutes to finish them off. But I will write this recipe as you would NORMALLY make the dish. First scrub clean about 2 kilos of clams (good for 4, hearty servings), and soak them in clean water in your fridge until about ready to use, at which point you can drain the clams and set aside.


For the sauce, saute lots of bacon or pancetta (or even spicy Italian sausage removed from its casings) together with some chopped onions and chopped garlic and some added olive oil. Add chopped Italian canned plum tomatoes and season LIBERALLY with salt and pepper. You may need a little more salt than you would normally put in a spaghetti sauce. Add as much dried chilli flakes as you like (I like this SPICY). Then add whatever fresh or dried herbs you fancy such as italian parsley, basil, etc. and cook this over medium high heat until just done, say 12 or so minutes, at which point you can toss in the clams, cover the pot and shake it a little every so often. Stir the clams and sauce together and scoop into bowls to serve. Make sure you make almost TOO MUCH sauce, since it is perfect to scoop up with bread, or actually, mix into one’s rice! Grill some nice country bread and brush it with olive oil and garlic and you have a PERFECT appetizer or even a meal, served with a hearty side salad. For some reason, pork and shellfish are a match made in heaven. Let’s just hope you don’t get that single bad clam that will make your late evening hell… heehee.



  1. connie says:

    I would say the dish sounds yummy except I’m reminded of that Krakatoa-weight-loosing episode. *giggles*

    Anyhoo, I like clams steamed, in pastas and most especially in clam chowder. But of course, I do miss mom’s clam soup with ginger and lots of siling labuyo leaves, onions and tomatoes.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 10:27 am


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  3. TOPING says:

    Having just finished reading about your ‘exploding clams’ episode, I lost all appetite for clams for the moment, great photos notwithstanding. ;-o

    Sep 5, 2007 | 10:46 am

  4. Apicio says:

    The errant clam was one of these? So lovely and yet so deadly. Food poisoning is one of the most scary and painful episodes one can experience. It is like near death experience except that you are not observing what’s going on, you are undergoing it. What is so telling about your story was your dog sensing your distress just like in the Arctic stories of Jack London.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 11:04 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    Unrebutted bacon brings out the taste and flavor of anything cooked in it. Clams go up beyond their ranks in bacon, tomatoes and the quintessential trio garlic, onion and olive oil with a touch of basil. Clams and bacon are exceptionally good with pasta in either tomato, chicken broth, pesto or cream based sauce.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 11:16 am

  6. portugalbear says:

    my husband loves all kinds of shell fish. I’m sure he will love this. Thanks MM

    Sep 5, 2007 | 11:33 am

  7. wil-b cariaga says:

    yummmm. . . it’s good i haven’t been a victim of bad clams or oysters etc. yet. . .

    Sep 5, 2007 | 7:17 pm

  8. allen says:

    can I use mussels for this?

    Sep 5, 2007 | 9:38 pm

  9. Silly Lolo says:

    Whoa! Clams again? Don’tpush your luck, MM. BTW, how was the Cavite Tinapa trip? Did you take good pics? That should make an interesting post.

    Sep 6, 2007 | 12:39 am

  10. Marketman says:

    Silly Lolo, these ARE the infamous clams, before I ate them… nasty buggers. allen, it would work with mussels though I personally prefer mussels with more acidic type sauces, especially if they are served cold. If served hot, just steamed with wine is always a mussel classic. wil, I was just reading up on bad clams and the causes are pretty gross… so it will be a while before I have shellfish again. Maria Clara, few things would not shine with bacon and tomatoes… Apicio, our labrador has developed a keen sense of wrong since she was the first to discover the burglar trying to break into our home and saw how crazed our reactions were then…she has become very protective… Toping, yup, this recipe is only for those who totally TRUST the source of their clams… Connie, pasta with clams is a personal favorite too!

    Sep 6, 2007 | 7:14 am


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