It was early. A strip of red visible on the horizon. I made my way out the door with anything I could throw on. I didn’t want to miss it. Out of breath and still trying to shake off the nights’ sleep, the ground beneath shifted from pavement to a soft crunching. Transfixed, I stood watching the subtle shift in clouds as they gave way to the morning sun. There’s nothing like a beach sunrise. A winter beach sunrise to be exact.
I did a 360 sweep and noticed I was the only one on the beach. I sat in the sand oblivious to the cold, lost in the rhythmic lapping of waves. The beauty of this place bewitches me, leaves me tormented and euphoric every time. I wanted to take it in as much as I could in the short time available.
Emotions flowed though me ranging from elation to melancholy, knowing that in just a few short hours, I’ll have nothing more than videos and photos of this place. I tried shaking off the woeful feeling and started walking. Naturally the thing that comes up most in my repertoire of thoughts, is food. Last night’s food. In particular the chorizo and little neck clams appetizer that left me wanting more. It was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.
One of the obsessive things I do when going out to eat is try and figure out how the chef made a certain dish. What’s the key ingredient? What makes it stand out? I decided to seek validation…I wanted to know; was it dry basil? When the waitress returned nodding cheerfully, I nearly exploded with excitement. Perhaps it was the two glasses of wine that made me chattier than normal, but I had an entire discussion with her about basil. My husband half embarrassed, took advantage of my being deep in conversation to polish off the last of the chorizo and little neck clams.
So there I was, frozen on the beach and hardly realizing it, about a mile from the hotel, thinking about chorizo with little neck clams. The only good thing about leaving would be getting to recipe test this thing at home. I was excited about its simplicity and rich taste.
I was amazed at just how effortless this recipe is. The chorizo is already cooked and in roughly 15-20 minutes you'll have a perfect appetizer. If you want to make a meal out of it, serve it over zucchini or rice noodles.
chorizo and little neck clams in red pepper broth
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total cooking time: 15-20 minutes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 link organic cured chorizo cut into small pieces
50 little little neck clams
1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
1/2 organic red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, finely mined
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
1 cup dry white wine or 1 cup broth if whole 30
dutch oven or soup pot
Preheat dutch oven. Add olive oil, onion, red pepper and salt and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes until onion is slightly caramelized and pepper is soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Next, add dried basil, chorizo and and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high and add clams. Cover and cook on high heat for 7-8 minutes. Do not open the lid during this time. Once cooked, discard any clams that haven't opened. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately. Pairs very well with an Albarino.