Today is National Drink Wine Day, the perfect opportunity to break out that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. If it happens to be a dry white wine, you can use some of it prepare this spicy Italian-style surf ’n’ turf meal, which was inspired by food writer Domenica Marchetti’s childhood
summers on Italy’s Adriatic coast.
Clams with White Wine, Tomatoes and Sausages
1 lb. (500 g) sweet or hot Italian sausages, each link cut crosswise into 4 to 6 pieces
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) dry white wine
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 large garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
1 1/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) canned diced tomatoes
1 small fresh hot chile, minced, or a generous pinch of red pepper flakes
4 dozen small clams, such as Manila or littleneck (about 3 lb./1.5 kg), scrubbed
Fine sea salt
1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 to 6 slices crusty country bread, toasted
Put the sausages in a dry fry pan and pour in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the wine and 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn the sausages, then re-cover and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Uncover, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, turning often, until the liquid has evaporated and the sausages are browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and just
beginning to sizzle, about 2 minutes (do not let it brown). Add the tomatoes and chile and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the tomatoes have thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Return the sausages to the pan and add the clams and the remaining 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) wine. Cover and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook at a lively simmer until the clams open, about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.
Spoon the clams and sausages into shallow bowls, dividing evenly. Ladle the sauce over. Tuck a slice of toast on the side of each bowl and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti (Weldon Owen, 2011)