Mussels and Clam Triestina

Johnny Miller


  • 1/4 Cup  extra-virgin olive oil, or enough to coat the bottom of a wide pot
  • cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • small onions, sliced into half-moons
  •   Kosher salt
  •  Pinch of  red pepper flakes
  • dozen Littleneck clams, washed and scrubbed
  • 1 Cup  dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc or tocai fiulano
  • 2 Pounds  mussels, washed, scrubbed, and debearded
  • fresh bay leaves
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup  dry, plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons  chopped fresh Italian parsley

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by Secrets of the Best Chefs Cookbook

I don’t know about you, but when I cook mussels or clams at home, the flavor is never big enough and the sauce is never rich enough to justify the effort. This recipe is the solution. The secret is lots of garlic, a good drinkable wine, and — the really unusual touch — breadcrumbs to enrich the sauce. The result is big and bold and, with a side of grilled bread, makes a very satisfying lunch or first course. Though Bastianich prefers the mussels she ate growing up in Italy, she says, "If you get them fresh, they’re just as delicious here."


Coat the bottom of a wide pot (one that has a well-fitting lid) with olive oil and add the crushed garlic cloves.

Turn up the heat to medium and allow the garlic to toast and turn golden. Once the garlic is golden, add the onions.

Let the onions cook slightly, 2-3 minutes (don’t let them soften too much). Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes (the size of the pinch depending on how spicy you like it), then add the clams, turn up the heat, and cover.

After 3 minutes, add the wine, bring to a boil, and cover again.

A few minutes later, check the clams: when they’re just starting to open, add the mussels and bay leaves and cover again. Shake the pan every so often.

Wait another few minutes and check: when the mussels start to open, sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and toss to distribute evenly. The sauce should thicken, though don’t go crazy with breadcrumbs or the sauce will be muddy. Taste and adjust the salt.

When the clams and mussels are open and the sauce is thick, drizzle olive oil over everything and add lots of chopped parsley. Serve in a big bowl with grilled bread on the side.


Excerpted from Secrets of the Best Chefs by Adam Roberts (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. 


Calories per serving:

482 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Sugar Conscious, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 80g 124%
  • Carbs 100g 33%
  • Saturated 13g 63%
  • Fiber 6g 23%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 10g
  • Monounsaturated 45g
  • Polyunsaturated 13g
  • Protein 168g 335%
  • Cholesterol 358mg 119%
  • Sodium 5,007mg 209%
  • Calcium 555mg 56%
  • Magnesium 434mg 108%
  • Potassium 3,597mg 103%
  • Iron 46mg 258%
  • Zinc 18mg 118%
  • Phosphorus 2,644mg 378%
  • Vitamin A 813µg 90%
  • Vitamin C 104mg 174%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 134%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 136%
  • Niacin (B3) 19mg 95%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 51%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 492µg 123%
  • Vitamin B12 148µg 2,471%
  • Vitamin D 3IU 1%
  • Vitamin E 15mg 77%
  • Vitamin K 226µg 282%
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