Littleneck Clams with Garlic & Sherry

Clams, Garlic, Pasta, Recipe, Sherry, Test Kitchen -

Littleneck Clams with Garlic & Sherry

Are you looking to make a romantic dinner or impress some friends but hate long, complicated recipes? This is the meal you want to make! It is quick, simple, and versatile. Serve two ways: as a dinner, or a crowd-impressing appetizer.
Here's a little sneak peek for you:

little neck clam, garlic, sherry, pasta
Looks good right?

Ingredients List
1 bag 50 ct Littleneck Clams
5 Tbsp Butter
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic chopped
1/2 Cup Cooking Sherry
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Small Onion chopped
3 Tbsp Parsley
2 Bay leaves
Pasta or Sourdough Bread
Prep Time 20 Min
Cook Time 20 Min

Start by rinsing your clams. Keeping them in the bag, submerge clams in cold tap water. This will allow the clams to expel grit and sand. After 15 minutes rise with cold water and remove the clams from the bag. Remove any that are chipped or damaged. If they still feel sandy you can give them a light scrub. 

Remember how I said this recipe can be served two ways?  While those clams are soaking, decide how you are going to serve those delicious morsels. Option one is to serve as an appetizer with a nice sourdough bread, sliced and brushed with olive oil. Or, if you are making this as a dinner, now is a good time to start the water for your pasta of choice. Most pair clams with Linguine, but I personally prefer Angel Hair. I feel like you get a greater clam-to-pasta ratio!  Whichever you choose will work great. 

Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a large pan of medium-high heat. Add onion, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp of garlic and red pepper flakes and stir. Now stir in 1/4 cup of Sherry, and bring this to a boil.
sherry, garlic, clam sauce

When the mixture comes to a boil, add the clams. I find it best to use a large slotted spoon so they don't chip falling into the pan. 

Cover the clams. Stir once to ensure they will heat evenly. It should take about 10 minutes for the clams to open. (So, perfect time to start your heavier pastas like linguine and spaghetti; if you are an angel hair person like me, you can wait until the clams are removed from the pan.) If all your clams are all open before the 10 minute mark you can remove them so they don't become chewy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the clams once opened into a serving dish and cover loosely with foil. Discard any clams that don't open. 

With the liquid remaining in the pan, add the remaining Sherry, butter, garlic, and the lemon juice. Bring this to a light simmer and let reduce for about 4 minutes. Once reduced add parsley and adjust seasoning if needed with extra lemon juice, or pepper. 

If serving over pasta arrange pasta in bowl with desired amount of clams on top.  Spoon remaining sauce over the top of the pasta and there you go.....fancy, rich, sophisticated dinner sure to impress your guests. 
If serving with bread arrange in a large serving bowl and pour remaining sauce over the top of the resting clams. Serve with the sliced sourdough or other crusty bread to soak up that delicious sauce!  

So get those clams, impress someone you know and enjoy!



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