10 Minute Mussels & Clams

I eat this dish a lot when I’m in Naples, Capri or the Amalfi Coast in the summertime. These¬†quickly steamed cozze e vongole (mussels and clams) are just out of the Bay of Naples, pristine and briny. I like a bowl of them swimming in their broth with a grilled slice of ciabatta rubbed with garlic for dipping. I like them in a pasta sauce served over linguine or spaghetti. I like them red or white and I like them spicy hot or not.

Here’s a basic recipe from Campania that you can have as I make it here and eat in 10 minutes or you can take it in at least a dozen other directions!

My clams and mussels love to eat polenta. As they ingest the polenta it helps clean out any sand inside the shell. I buy them from my fishmonger on the day I cook them. At home I scrub them well and put them in a salty bath sprinkled with polenta. I keep them in the fridge until the pan is ready for them.

Don’t mess with these beauties from the sea. Steam them quickly. Take them out as soon as they open and eat them immediately.

Some variations on this basic recipe, including pasta sauces, are at the end of the recipe below.

Welcome to the Bay of Naples. Buon appetito.




3 Replies to “10 Minute Mussels & Clams”

  1. This looks delicious! Where do you get your mussels from? Also, we have been looking for vongole in San Francisco for a long time and never found them. Do you have any idea where to get them? Thanks!

    1. Ciao. Here are some places I frequent here in San Francisco. I usually get my mussels at Real Foods on Polk Street. I’ve found small clams there that approximate the thumb-size vongole verace from the Adriatic there too. If I can’t get the vongole verace I go for the smallest of the Little Neck variety. I by from the restaurant Sotto Mare (on Green Street between Columbus and Grant). They sell retail the fresh fish from the Fisherman’s Wharf boats that they’re serving that day. These places usually have what I need too: the Ferry Building fish market; Alioto’s on Fisherman’s Wharf and Whole Foods.

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