Clams



When it comes to shellfish, clams do it all. They’re delicious tucked into chowder, tossed with pasta, baked on pizza, steamed in a white wine broth or fried and dipped in remoulade (with or without an accompanying bun). Hard-shell clams, like cherrystones, littlenecks and quahogs, are common along the Atlantic coast, where people enjoy their sweet, briny flavor raw with lemon or mignonette. Having a barbecue? Try throwing some meaty razor clams on the grill. The F&W guide to clams shows off the incredible range of recipes starring this shellfish, from a creamy bacon-and-clam risotto to a fiery Korean clam and kimchi stew—and beyond.

Most Recent

Manila Clams with Shiro Dashi and Basil

Clams are often covered and gently steamed until they open. Here, chef Trigg Brown cooks them uncovered over high heat to coax steam from the cooking liquid and concentrate its flavor at the same time. The result: tender, juicy clams with a rich, reduced broth in only 15 minutes.

Steamed Clams with Tomatoes and Basil

A clam injury? I know it sounds improbable. They don’t have pincers, like crabs. Or claws, like lobsters. And yet, there I stood, at last year’s Memorial Day picnic, my shucker in one hand and the other raised over my head, bleeding into a makeshift tourniquet made from my hosts’ ornamental kitchen towel, attracting a lot of the wrong kind of attention. The wound healed, but I don’t shuck clams any more. It feels too risky. As the anniversary of my clam encounter drew near, I began to wonder, how was I supposed to cook clams this summer without shucking them? But then, an inner voice reminded me of the generosity of the clam—namely, its willingness to be steamed open. This recipe starts by cooking down some cherry or grape tomatoes in garlic oil in a Dutch oven until they take on a jammy consistency, which intensifies their sweetness. The clams go into the pot with some white wine (use a good one, and drink the rest), where they are slowly coaxed open until their briny, sweet juices run free and mingle with the tomatoes. Finish the dish with a fistful of perfume-y basil, or whatever tender-leafed herb you have on hand. There will be plenty of brothiness to soak up, which I recommend doing with bread that has been grilled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic just as it comes off the heat. I like rolling up my sleeves and serving the clams straight from the pot, which invariably turns the meal into a communal affair of bumping each other’s elbows out of the way to get to the bottom where all the good stuff generally lies. As you’ll clearly need more than the wine you’ve cooked with, I recommend moving on to a light- to-medium-bodied red such as Pelaverga—Castello di Verduno is one of my favorite producers. Pelavergas are reasonably priced, bright, and pair well with just about anything. There are only a handful of producers who grow the varietal—whose DOC is located right outside Barolo—so you can enjoy your glass even more knowing that you’re getting a Barolo-like wine for a fraction of the price.

Rhode Island–Style 
Clam Stuffies


Quahogs, also known as chowder clams, are the Godzilla of the bivalve kingdom. As big as a fist, their meat is full of briny flavor but can be a bit tough when cooked. The solution? Steam and chop the clam meat before folding it into a stuffing with good company: Portuguese linguiça, red bell pepper, garlic, and fresh herbs. Packed back into their shells and roasted, “stuffies” are a hearty way to enjoy quahogs and a staple of summer meals in Rhode Island.

Clams Carbonara


Boston chef Matt Jennings’s pasta combines two beautiful things: salty, rich carbonara and spaghetti alle vongole, prepared with briny New England clams. Slideshow: More Clam Recipes

Baked Clams with Bacon and Garlic


In this ultimate version of baked clams, chef Daniel Humm includes chopped clams in the filling, doubling down on briny clam flavor. Bacon, parsley, lemon and a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese add a savory, herby kick. Slideshow: More Clam Recipes

Wu-Tang Clams


Chef Richard Blais says he has an affinity for ’90s hip-hop, which is why he chose to name his Chinese-style clams after the Wu-Tang Clan. Incorporating sesame oil, ginger, Chinese pork sausages and bok choy, this is the be-all, end-all of clam dishes. Slideshow: More Clam Recipes

More Clam

Garlicky Littleneck Clams 
with Fregola


A sweet, superversatile garlic puree is the star of this satisfying dish. In addition to swirling it into the silky broth, chef Michael Psilakis spreads the leftovers on toast in place of butter or folds it into Greek yogurt for a quick dip. Once the garlic puree is made, this dish comes together in minutes. Slideshow: More Clam Recipes

Seafood Paella

This seafood-lover’s version of paella from Food & Wine’s Kay Chun has four different types of shellfish, as well as plenty of meaty bites of chorizo. Slideshow: More Paella Recipes

Portuguese Clams with Potatoes and Chorizo

Potatoes act as a perfect flavor sponge soaking up spicy, smoky chorizo, bright white wine and garlic. Slideshow: More Portuguese Recipes