Clams and mussels are two very popular shellfish all over the world. There are many ways that they can be prepared. I remember that one of my favorite ways of eating them was a long time ago in Spain in a town called Tossa De Mar, about an hour north of Barcelona. Each individual mussel was covered in a spicy tomato sauce. What kind of patient cook would go through such a preparation for each single mussel? Well, someone who wants make sure you still remember his delicious recipe fifteen years later! In Italy and all over the Mediterranean, clams and mussels are very commonly paired with pasta. Very popular are the linguine with clams in a white wine sauce. Another intriguing and very tasty way to have clams is the clam chowder, a dense, creamy soup very popular in the Northwestern region of United States One of my absolute favorite way of eating clams and mussels, however is very particular to the northern Italian region. The term used is "cassiopipa" and it indicates a terracotta container where originally the clams and mussels were cooked on a low heat on traditional fishermen boats. Here you can make your own clams and mussels in a delicious tomato broth.
extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs of fresh mussels
1 1/2 lbs of fresh clams
3 garlic cloves, peeled, and minced
2 cups of white wine
5 tbsp of tomato paste
fresh minced parsley to garnish
Take your largest pan and heat it up with medium heat. Put the olive oil to heat and add the garlic minced. When the garlic gets to a golden color, add all the mussels and clams at the same time Make sure you stir the clams and mussels every 2 to 5 minutes. Let the shellfish cook for at least 10 to 15 minutes. they will open one by one and release water, which is a good thing, because that will be part of our delicious broth where we can dip our bread! Make sure you discard any shellfish that won't open after a long time. They might be dead and definitively not good for you! After the shellfish are all open and you have a nice broth brewing at the bottom, add the white wine and let it simmer until it evaporates.Finally add the tomato paste. Make sure that the tomato mixes with the nice liquid at the bottom of the pan. After 5 minutes get a very large bowl and serve all the shellfish with the tomato broth at the bottom. I love to dip some rosemary focaccia in the nice sauce.