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Garlic butter steamed clams: A memorable community-style dish

It can be a challenge to throw together a dish that pleases a crowd, is fast, and doesn't break the bank. Today it’s very easy to depend on pre-packaged foods as the go-to for convenience when entertaining. But, some of the best foods for sharing cannot be packaged and luckily are quick, easy, and inexpensive. A buttery, garlicky bowl full of steamed clams and a freshly baked loaf of Italian bread are all you need to draw a circle of friends or family around the table. This dish is so easy, and pairs well with a crisp cold white wine. This is a dish for your Not Shy groups who have no problem digging into a community bowl of deliciousness or fighting you for the last bit of liquid to dip their fresh, crusty bread into!

1 pound of ground Italian sausage
3 pounds of fresh clams (scrubbed and cleaned, instructions below)
½ white onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 bottle of dry white wine
¼ cup butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4-6 people


  • Clean those clams – they have sand in and on them usually, so, here are some easy ways to make sure they are clean:
  1. If any of the clams are open, gently tap them against the counter top (discard any clams that do not close their shells back up after a few minutes)
  2. Place all clams into a large pot full of cool tap water and add a little black pepper to it. Let clams sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. When you’re ready to cook (but not until then!), pull each clam from the pot and scrub the shell to clean anything off the surface.
  • Have a large pot with tightly fitting lid ready on the stove
  • To the large pot, add the olive oil, diced onions, and garlic and sauté over low-to-medium heat for 2-3 minutes
  • Brown the sausage in a stick-proof pan, then add it to the large pot
  • Add clams, half the butter, a pinch of salt, and about 2 cups of wine (you can use a little more or a little less depending on how much liquid you want for dipping bread)
  • Cover the pot, and allow clams to steam – around 10 minutes, or until they are all fully open (a clear lid is ideal to keep watch)
  • Once done, stir in the remaining butter, and pour everything into a large, deep serving bowl.
  • Garnish with the parsley and Parmesan, and serve with sliced bread and your favorite white wine.


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