Tomato Sauce with Shellfish or Squid

Tomatoes On The Vine

This sauce is best with steamed clams or mussels, or baby squid

1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes or 1 batch roasted tomatoes
3 lbs live clams or mussels, or 1 lb fresh baby squid
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
2 - 3 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 t salt
3 - 4 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 cup clam juice, white wine or water

First steam the clams or mussels if you are using them. Scrub the clams. Remove the beards from the mussels. Place in a large saucepan with a lid. Pour in 1 cup water. Cover pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the shellfish have opened. Discard any that did not open. Reserve cooking liquid. Cool and remove clams or mussels from their shells reserving 3 -4 per serving.

Or, if you are using baby squid, clean the squid, cut the body into rounds, leave the tentacles whole.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and saute until soft, 2 - 3 min, do not brown. Add red pepper flakes and parsley. Heat for 30 seconds. If using canned tomatoes, crush tomatoes with your hand. If using roasted tomatoes, put them in a bowl and blend with am immersion blender until pureed adding reserved clam/mussel juice, wine or water as needed. Add crushed or pureed tomatoes to pan with remaining liquid. Add chopped Roma tomatoes. Simmer sauce for 1/2 hour. Add clams, mussels or squid. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the reserved clams or mussels still in their shells. Remove from heat. Correct seasoning.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Usually I wouldn't suggest buying ingredients from as far away as Naples, Italy. However, if you are not using your own roasted tomatoes, then the only ones worth using are those that are grown in the volcanic soil on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius (in my opinion). Seek them out, accept no substitute. It is worth it!

The best thing to do, of course, is to use roasted home-grown tomatoes. Here is a recipe: Roasted Tomatoes

By the way, never serve grated parmesan cheese on a fish sauce - it just isn't done!

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