Razor clam and fregola soup

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by: Chi Town Kitchen






If you do use mussels, scrub them well under running water, removing any barnacles and beards. Discard any that are open or won’t close when tapped. Then when you cook them discard any that fail to open. When you buy razor clams, as with all bivalves, it is very important to ensure that they are still alive, so make sure the shells are tightly closed — if they are open and the meat is pushing its way out, forgot it. Once they are dead, they lose their juices and flavor, and the flesh becomes floppy. Fregola, the grain used in this soup, is a kind of yellow wheat couscous, dried in the sun or the oven, which comes from Sardegna and is also served with stews. If you can't find it, you could use coarse couscous instead, or pastina(pasta shapes) like risoni or stellini.




ingredients

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serves: 4

8 razor clams

1/3 cup fregola (or coarse couscous)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic (chopped)

2 long red chiles (deseeded and chopped)

5 tablespoons white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

salt and pepper

To serve:

8 slices of ciabatta (or similar white bread)

a little extra virgin olive oil (to brush the toasted bread)

For the stock:

4 1/2 pounds cherrystone clams

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic (chopped)

2 long red chiles (deseeded and chopped)

5 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Nutrition Facts
Razor clam and fregola soup

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 2465

  • Total Fat: 143.1 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 32.9 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 397.3 mg
  • Sodium: 4241.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 213.1 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
  •     Sugars: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 67.8 g
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preparation

1.  Keep the razor clams and the cherrystone clams for the stock separate. Put each into a bowl of cold water with some salt to re-create their natural environment. As they breathe, they filter the water and push out any sand trapped inside the shells. Lift them out, scrub the shells really well with a brush and wash them three times in running water. Check and discard any that are still open. Sometimes there is too much sand to come out into the water, and the weight of it can keep the shell of a dead clam closed. To he sure, drop each clam into a bowl, and if the clam is dead the impact should make the shell open.

2.  To make the stock, heat the oil in a large, heavy—bottomed pan, add the garlic and chile and cook gently without coloring. Add the cherrystone clams, shake them around for another few minutes, then add the wine. Cover and cook for a few more minutes, until the clams open and release their juices. Add the tomato paste and about 2 1/4 cups water (or a little more if necessary — enough to cover the clams). Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3.  While the stock is cooking, cook the fregola in plenty of boiling water (no salt) for 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool on at tray or plate. As it cools, toss with at little olive oil to keep the grains separate.

4.  Strain the Stock through a fine sieve and keep to one side.

5.  Open the razor clams by running a sharp knife down the length of the shell, so that the two sides open out like a book. Remove the black vein with a knife, but leave the clams in their shells.

6.  Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan with a base wide enough to take the clams without bunohing. Add tho garlic and ohilo, and cook gently for a low minutes, without allowing them to color.

7.  Put in the clams, meat side down (i.e, shells facing upward) and cook for a minute. (Keep an eye on the garlic; if it starts to turn brown, add a little more oil to keep it from burning and tasting bitter.) Add the wine and cook for one more minute, until the alcohol evaporates.

8.  Turn the heat down, then take out the clams. Lay them on at cutting board, pull the clams from their shells and discard the shells. Lay the clams side by side on the cutting hoard, and cut through them all at the same time into smell pieces.

9.  Add the reserved stock to the pan, stir in the tomato paste, then add the fregola. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for a few minutes, until the soup thickens up. Season, then take the pan off the heat and add the pieces of razor clam (it is important not to boil the clam meat or it will toughen). Stir for a minute or so, and add the parsley.

10.  Toast the bread until golden and brush with extra virgin olive oil. Pour the soup into bowls, and serve with the toasted bread on the side.

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