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 1-1/2 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- Pinch crushed red-pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 48 littleneck clams, shucked, shucking juices reserved and strained (about 1 cup meat, 1½ cups shucking juices), clams chopped if they are large
- 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.