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Sautéed Clams: the Italian Recipe with Garlic and White Wine

Total time: 2h15min.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Sautéed clams are a great classic of Naples' cuisine, much loved and widespread throughout Italy. Appetizing and cooked in just a few minutes, they are perfect to serve both as an appetizer, in single-portion bowls, and as a main course for a fish-based lunch or dinner. The clams, after having been carefully cleaned, are sautéed in a pan and opened over a high heat with a generous drizzle of oil, sliced chili pepper, garlic cloves and a splash of white wine. Then they are sprinkled with a generous handful of parsley and served with their cooking liquid, filtered, and fragrant slices of toasted bread: for a tasty and delicious result, also excellent to use as a condimento for a good plate of spaghetti or linguine.

Before proceeding with the preparation, make sure that the clams are very fresh and eliminate any that are open or not intact. Also remember to purge them by leaving them to soak in a container with plenty of cold salted water: this way, you'll reproduce the marine environment and the molluscs will begin to open, filtering the clean water and eliminating the sand and other impurities present inside of them.

For this recipe, clams, with their tender meat and a sweet and delicate flavor, are the most suitable but, alternatively, classic sea lupins would also work well. You can prepare the sauté by adding some datterino tomatoes or try your hand at a tasty variant based on mussels and clams cooked together or, if you like, just mussels.

The term sauté (from the French for sautéed) refers to a particular cooking method which consists in sautéing the food in a pan over a high flame with the addition of a few condiments: a healthy technique, it is mainly used for the preparation of shellfish such as mussels, clams and razor clams.

Find out how to prepare sautéed clams following the step-by-step procedure and advice.


For the clams
2 cloves
White wine
half a glass
Extra virgin olive oil
as much as you need
as much as you need
For the bread crutons
Homemade bread
5-6 slices
Extra virgin olive oil
as much as needed
You'll also need
Coarse salt
as much as you need

How to Prepare Sautéed Clams

Place the clams in a large bowl.

Cover the clams with cold water.

Add 1 tbsp of coarse salt and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once the resting time has passed, drain the clams, rinse them well under cold running water and eliminate any open or broken ones.

Pour a generous drizzle of oil in a non-stick pan.

Add the garlic cloves.

Add the fresh chili pepper cut into slices, and brown for 1 minute.

Then pour the clams into the pan.

Deglaze with white wine.

Cover with a lid and let the clams open over high heat for about 5 minutes.

Once finished, turn off and flavor with 1 sprig of chopped parsley.

Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Pour the clams into a fine mesh strainer and filter the cooking liquid.

Keep the filtered sauce aside.

Cut the bread into thin slices.

Place the slices of bread on a hot non-stick plate.

Season the bread slices with a drizzle of oil.

And let it toast for a couple of minutes on each side.

Arrange the clams on a serving plate with their filtered cooking liquid, and flavor with the remaining chopped parsley. Bring to the table and serve with the slices of toasted bread.

How to Store Sautéed Clams

The sautéed clams can be stored in the refrigerator, in a special airtight container, for a maximum of 1 day.

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