Clam Bruschetta
Bruschetta alle Vongole

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Clam Bruschetta
Bruschetta alle Vongole
cookbook: Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking
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serves: Serves 6

Pasta dressed with clam sauce has been a favorite in Italian households and Italian restaurants since forever, but have you ever tried to drown a piece of crusty Italian bread, still warm from the grill, with clam sauce? Well, here it is, and I promise this will become a favorite bruschetta in your home. It makes a delicious hors d’oeuvre, but it can also make a meal. It is a very good addition to a grilling party: have a bowl of this sauce handy, and as the bread comes off the grill, let everyone douse it with a spoonful of the sauce.


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
48 littleneck clams, shucked, chopped if large, shucking juices reserved and strained
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
12 thick slices country bread, each 2 to 3 inches long, grilled


To a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and let sizzle a minute, taking care not to burn it, then season with the crushed red pepper flakes and salt.

Add the clam shucking juices to the skillet, bring to a boil, and add the parsley. Let boil to reduce the juices by about half and bring the sauce together. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the shucked clams, and simmer until they are just cooked, about 2 minutes.

Divide the sauce evenly over the grilled bread, and serve hot.

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking

In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips--from the cutting board to the kitchen table. Channeling the instructive elements from the companion Public Television series, Lidia’s Kitchen, she teaches us that a good dose of common sense is the key ingredient to a stellar meal. As storyteller and chef, Lidia draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate. Recalling lessons learned from her mother, Erminia, and her grandmother, Nonna Rosa, Lidia pays homage to the kitchen sages who inspired her. Whether it's Citrus Roasted Veal or Rustic Ricotta Tart, each recipe is a tangible feast. We learn to look at ingredients as both geographic and cultural indicators; in Campania, the region where mozzarella is king, we discover it is best eaten three hours after preparation. In Genova we are taught that while focaccia had its basil origins in the Ligurian culinary tradition, the herbs and flavorings will change from region to region--home chefs can experiment with rosemary, oregano, olives, or onions! When it's time for dessert, Lidia draws on the sacred customs of nuns in Italian monasteries and convents and reveals the secret to Rice Pudding with a Blessing. Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking is a collection of 150 delectable recipes told with common sense cooking wisdom that teaches us how create simple, seasonal, Italian dishes with grace, confidence, and love.

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