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Video: Marvelous mussels in a flash

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    >>> this morning in today's kitchen, one-dish shellfish dinners. chef paul bartoletto from las vegas . great to see you.

    >> happy to be here.

    >> what is it about shellfish that we think will be hard?

    >> my restaurant specializes in mediterranean seafood, but here we are doing some simple stuff that anybody can find.

    >> anybody can --

    >> you're doing the first dish. a little olive oil in here. you're doing clams and leeks. i'm doing mussels and white beans. little more olive oil . don't be shy. a put in a little bit of butter. very easy. cooking down now. you're going to add your leeks.

    >> all right.

    >> put your leeks in there. all right. pour in your leeks. so you have never done this before, right?

    >> no, no.

    >> i want to make sure --

    >> i have cooked a little bit.

    >> i want to put in a little bit of beans. i'm going to put tomatoes. you add your chili flakes, a little bit of chili . that's a lot of chili . there you go.

    >> you're going to love this.

    >> that's going to be good. add your clams in there. cleaned and washed. ask the fish monger to do it for you.

    >> they will, great.

    >> we'll put these in a big bowl in the center of the table for a holiday event. you know, you're having people over in the summer. you want to do something fun, this is perfect. so mussels go in. clams --

    >> how long do you --

    >> add white wine .

    >> okay. we're going to do all of this?

    >> well, based on the amount of chili --

    >> we need another bottle.

    >> perfect.

    >> i think you need to soften that chili in there, can't hurt. good. now put the lid on that. so here i have sauteed the same thing, garlic, chili --

    >> how long do i leave this on?

    >> until they steam open. you don't want to overcook them.

    >> until i cook off the chili flakes.

    >> if you have any leftover it's awesome with spaghetti later on. you can strain off the broth, do a picnic and make a risotto.

    >> this is a great summer meal.

    >> absolutely. all in one pan. friends on the patio, one big pot and we'll pour it in a big bowl in the center of the table and dunk some grilled bread.

    >> i have parsley.

    >> let's see how you're doing. you're almost there. a few seconds. mine are opening up.

    >> look at you.

    >> a little bit of wine. of course because this is television we cheat. so we have.

    >> no, no. we time compress.

    >> so these are my mussels and white beans.

    >> can i see them?

    >> mussels and white beans.

    >> come in. you guys are my taste testers. i'm putting a little parsley in there. you can put yours in.

    >> yes. so good.

    >> based on the amount of chili flakes you may want to try the other one.

    >> oh!

    >> unless you like spicy food .

    >> look at that.

    >> come on over here. here you go. how simple is this? pour it into the bowl, a nice big bowl of steamed mussels and clams and white beans.

    >> mm.

    >> come on over and try it. we have forks for you.

    >> we have a few seconds left.

    >> great having you here.

    >> great for a picnic. great for fun with your friends. i do something in my restaurant because we serve our food family style. so we serve everything at the table for everybody.

    >> thank you so much.

    >> this weekend on "today," lester holt jams with the steve miller band . exclusive access to one of the all-time legends of rock and roll. this weekend on "today" on nbc.

    >> i hope you're watching. this is for you.

TODAY recipes
updated 7/7/2010 9:08:33 PM ET 2010-07-08T01:08:33

Recipe: 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

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.

Recipe: 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

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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