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Author Notes: The great chef and seafood maestro Dave Pasternack, of Esca and Eataly, inspired me to make a shellfish soup after reading in “Food & Wine” that “mussels, scallops, and clams are always eco-friendly choices.” Of course I already knew that, but the reminder got me right out to the local seafood market that afternoon. There I bought assorted shellfish to make a “brodetto” (or fish broth) using shellfish, as does Chef Pasternack, with a few variations. For example, instead of clam juice I used lobster stock for the broth, and I substituted soba noodles for the slice of toasted bread, while adding just a couple of toasted sourdough croutons and, naturally, I increased the amount of hot chiles. The result was delizioso! —2GourManiacs
Little Neck Clams
pounds mussels, cleaned and scrubbed (preferably let them sit in a large bowl with water and 1/4 cup flour for 1-2 hours to purge of internal impurities, then rinse well)
pound bay scallops (or large scallops, halved horizontally)
bunches Soba noodles
garlic cloves, minced
cups lobster stock (or clam juice, or fish stock)
cup olive oil
cup white wine
small red chiles, dried or fresh, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
large tomatoes on the vine, diced and seeded
cup mixed small basil leaves (I used Thai & Italian)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the soba noodles, cook 1-2 minutes, to just al dente.
- Drain immediately, rinse under cold water to preserve texture, and reserve.
- Using a deep enamel or cast iron skillet, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil and add the garlic and chiles, softening over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir together.
- Add the lobster stock and bring to a boil.
- Drop in the tomatoes, clams and mussels, and cover for 2-3 minutes.
- When the shells begin to open, add the scallops and cook several more minutes, until the scallops are cooked and the shellfish has completely opened up.
- Divide the soba noodles into the bottom of four large serving bowls.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the shellfish from the skillet on top of the noodles in the bowls.
- Using a ladle, add the broth to the serving bowls, up to the rim, covering the noodles.
- Add a couple of the small croutons to the broth, top with the basil leaves and serve steaming hot.