Whole lotta shellfish in Bartolotta’s summer feasts

Chef Paul Bartolotta is known for his Italian culinary prowess and his signature drizzle of olive oil. Here, he shares his secrets for dishing up fast, easy shellfish feasts fit for a family-style summer celebration. Enjoy!

Guazzetto di cozze e cannellini (Tuscan mussel soup with white beans)

Ingredients

    • 48 mussels, washed
    • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter (optional)
    • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
    • 4 tomatoes, blanched, seeded and diced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 teaspoons Italian parsley, chopped
    • 4 croutons, peasant bread
    • 1/2 cup cannellini beans, boiled
    • (Reserve 1/2 cup liquid)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cut 4 square bread croutons approximately 1 inch by 1 inch and toast lightly in the oven until golden brown. Rub with peeled garlic, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with a pinch of salt; set aside.In a sauce pot, gently saute the minced garlic and bay leaves in extra-virgin olive oil and the optional butter; do not brown.Add washed mussels, white wine and red pepper flakes, then cover and steam open the mussels. Remove from heat and remove the mussels from the sauce pot. As you remove the mussels from the shells, reduce the mussel broth and acidity of the wine, adding the liquid left from boiling the cannellini beans.Add the beans, diced tomato and chopped parsley.Adjust salt to taste. Add the cleaned mussels and serve in hot soup bowls on top of the bread croutons. Serve immediately.

Brodetto di vongole e porri (Tiny clams in a white wine broth with leeks)

Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 pinch peperoncino (red chili flakes)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
    • 1 cup leeks (medium dice)
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 3 pounds tiny clams (manila)
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons parsley (coarsely chopped)
    • Sea salt (to taste)
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 slices ciabatta/peasant bread crostini (sliced thick; 1 inch by 2 inches by 1/2 inch)
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Wash clams carefully. Cut leek in half lengthwise and wash carefully to remove all sand and dirt. Cut yet again each half lengthwise, then cut across to obtain medium dice, using only the white and light yellow part of the heart of the leeks. In a medium saute pan heat the extra-virgin olive oil with the optional butter, leeks and a pinch of peperoncino. Saute over medium heat, being careful not to brown the leeks.Add the white wine and clams and cover to steam open the clams.When all the clams are open, remove the lid and reduce all the alcohol from the wine.Meanwhile, grill the peasant bread and rub with the raw garlic clove, seasoning the bread with sea salt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.Check the seasoning of the clam broth to ensure the alcohol taste is gone. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir in remaining optional unsalted butter and chopped parsley. Serve immediately in soup plates with the grilled crostini and top with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

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