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Provençal Clams and Mussels over Shells
serves 4

Provençal Clams and Mussels over ShellsIngredients

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes

  • 15 leaves fresh basil, divided

  • 2 cloves garlic, shaved

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

  • 1 pound mussels

  • 1 pound littleneck clams

  • 1 pound pasta shells

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • Fine sea salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Place the mussels and clams in a large bowl of water and ice with 1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.  The mussels and clams will spit out any sand.  Lift the seafood out of the water, and rinse.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and salt it well.

  3. Pulse together the tomatoes in a food processor until almost complete pureed.  In a braising pot, add the oil and heat over low heat.  Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, and 12 basil leaves, torn.  Add the sugar and red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 27 minutes.  Remove the lid, and increase the heat to medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until some of the liquid has evaporated.

  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water.  Add the clams to the tomato sauce, and cover.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the mussels to the clams, and cover, continuing to cook over medium heat for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until all the seafood has opened.  Drain the pasta when it is al dente.

  5. Toss the pasta with the seafood and sauce, and cook an addition 1 to 2 minutes on low so the pasta can soak up the sauce.  Drizzle with extra olive oil, and serve immediately.

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