Clams in Rich Broth with Orzo
Place a dish in the middle of the table for empty shells.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 dried red chile peppers
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 pounds littleneck or Manila clams, scrubbed well
- 1/4 cup chopped tomato
- 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley and basil
- 1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and chile peppers and cook until onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add wine and bring to a boil. Add stock or water and boil for 5 minutes. Add butter, clams, tomato, and salt to taste, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all clams have opened (discard any that haven't). Stir in herbs.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add orzo and a pinch of salt; cook until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little oil.
Spoon a serving of orzo in each of 4 large bowls, add enough broth just to cover, and arrange clams around edge of each bowl.