Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a light main course
This dish makes a delectable appetizer, and serving it family style is the way to go. Bring it to the table in the cooking pot with the lid on, so it stays warm. Be sure to have plenty of grilled bread on hand, to dunk into the sauce, as well as bowls for the shells.
- ¼ cup extra- virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 2 large leeks, white and light- green parts, halved crosswise and sliced ¼ inch thick
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- One 28- ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, run through a food mill or crushed by hand
- 2 medium zucchini (10 ounces), cut into 1½-by- ¼- inch sticks
- 48 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 4 or 6 slices lightly toasted or grilled country bread (one for each bowl)
Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Once the garlic is sizzling, add the leeks, cover, and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
Season with the salt and red pepper flakes. Add the wine, and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, slosh out the can with ½ cup water, and add that to the pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add the zucchini, and simmer just until they begin to droop, about 5 minutes. Add the clams, stir, and cover. Cook about 5 to 6 minutes, until the clams are done; discard any that haven’t opened. Stir in the parsley, drizzle with oil, and serve over the bread slices in shallow bowls.