Zuppa alle Vongole (Tomato/Clam soup)

Last week was canned soup week here at the Hedonist Household. With everyone here being ill in some fashion or another, no one was really in the mood to do much more than open a can of calm chowder and let the Westinghouse Range to do the work.

Once I got better, I knew that it was in all of our interests to get a homemade soup out there as soon as possible. Hence, this recipe. It also marks my return to Italian recipes, something I’ve migrated away from over the past two years or so. At the end of last year, I made the decision to only pursue cuisines and recipes that I have an interest in. This means more Italian dishes in the next year or so.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 14 oz tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red wine, (I used a chianti)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup rotini
  • 6 oz clams, canned or fresh, shelled (fresh is far preferable)
  • Parsley, for garnish

In a large stock pot, bring the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir frequently in order to prevent the onions from sticking to the pot.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves, clam juice, water, and red wine. Bring to a boil. Add the sugar if the soup taste too bitter at this point. Lower to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the dried pasta and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Add the clams. Do not bring to a boil, as this will make the clams very rubbery. Let them cook in a simer (185 degrees) for about 4-6 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve topped with parsley.

Serves 4