Last Updated on June 30, 2021 by Melissa Reome
This post in partnership with Hestan. Rest assured all opinions are my own.
Beef may be my first love but shellfish is certainly my second. Clams, mussels, shrimp, and crab are my go to when I want something on the lighter side. My recipe for clams and mussels in wine and tomato broth is easy to make and incredibly delicious. Buy a great loaf of crusty bread at the store to eat with it. It is perfect as an appetizer, a light lunch or in a larger portion for dinner.
A Versatile Broth With Optional Additions
Although I used clams and mussels with this wine and tomato broth, it is fantastic with crab, shrimp or lobster in it. Shrimp cook within just a few minutes with time only varying slightly with size. Cook the clams and mussels at least 5 minutes until they start to open then add the shrimp. Shrimp are cooked thoroughly when they are opaque throughout. The shrimp can be peeled beforehand or added with the shells on. Shell on shrimp will make the broth even more flavorful. If leaving the shells on, I prefer to remove the legs beforehand to make them easier to eat afterwards.
Crab legs come pre-cooked so you are just reheating them when cooking them at home. Their bulkiness makes them more challenging to add to the pot if cooking crabs and clams as well. If you are using a tall pot to cook the seafood in however this won’t be an issue. Add the crab when you add the clams and mussels and they should all finish up at the same time. If the crab still isn’t warm thoroughly however, leave it in the pot as you start eating the clams and mussels. It will only take a few more minutes to be piping hot.
Are you a lobster lover? If I’m spending money on lobster I like to be extra cautious as to not overcook it. Lobster can be steamed, broiled, baked or grilled. Though you can just add it to the top of the seafood to cook, I prefer to cook it separately in the oven or on the grill then add it to the pot prior to serving. Cook time on lobster varies but it is finished cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 135-140°F when measured with an instant read thermometer.
Cleaning Clams and Mussels
Prior to cooking, the clams and mussels need to be looked over to remove any dead ones. Discard any clams which the shells are open, chipped or broken. Place the clams and mussels in fresh water for 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, they will filter out sand from inside the shells as well salt water. Pick up the clams and mussels from the water and brush off any dirt or sand from the shells.
If soaking them in a large bowl, do not dump them into a strainer after soaking as you will dump the sand that has filtered out of them right on top of the shells. Though some will soak the clams and mussels in salt water, it is not necessary if soaking them for a short period of time then immediately cooking.
Hestan Dual-Fuel Range
The burners on my Hestan Dual-Fuel range are exceptionally powerful. The front high performance dual-fuel burner system burners are an impressive 23,000 BTU a piece. I mention this because although I have my burner on low on my range, someone else’s range at home might be on medium to acquire the same amount of heat. This range is truly a dream range of mine and has far exceeded my expectations. When you sauté the onions, be cautious as to how hot your pan is. Don’t brown the onions, just sauté them until softened and translucent.
Making The Broth For The Clams and Mussels
The size of the pan or pot you will use to cook in will depend on the amount of clams and mussels you choose to put in it. My Hestan Nanobond Essential Pan is available in a 3.5 quart and large 5 quart size which I own. I am able to fit 50 little neck clams and 2lb of mussels in it with the lid on.
Once you chop up the onions, this broth and meal comes together quickly. The onions are sauteed and the herbs and spices are added.
I prefer to use a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio in this dish. The addition of fish stock or clam juice is optional but adds great flavor. Clam juice has sodium in it so do not salt to your broth. Remember, the clams and mussels also will add some sodium once the shells open. I prefer to add some fresh ground pepper to mine prior to adding the seafood but this is optional as well.
After 10 minutes, if any shells do not open, throw them away as the clam or mussel was likely dead prior to cooking it. Do not attempt to pry them open. To serve, add seafood to large bowls and ladle broth over the top of it. Garnish with chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and serve with crusty bread to dip in the broth. Remember to have a few bowls on the table for any discarded shells.
Love seafood? Try my recipe for Crab Cakes with Lemon Caper Sauce or my Surf and Turf Recipe Ideas.
Clams and Mussels in Wine and Tomato Broth
- 50 small little neck clams or your favorite variety of clams
- 2 lb black mussels
- 1 large white or yellow onion, diced (or 2 medium)
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup clam juice or fish stock optional
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano may omit if unavailable
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme may omit if unavailable
- 1/2 tsp dried basil may omit if unavailable
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional) may add more to make spicy or omit if desired
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced or 4-5 large cloves
- In a large, deep pan or pan, over low-medium heat, add olive oil. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent (approximately 5 to 10 minutes). Add garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add crushed red pepper flakes, basil, thyme and oregano.
- Add wine and clam juice (or fish stock) to onions. Add crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add clams and mussels to broth. Place lid on pot and continue to cook until the shells open. Check clams and mussels after 5 minutes. Carefully stir being cautious not to splash the broth. If all of the shells are not open after 5 minutes, cover the pot for another 2 to 3 minutes. Check for any closed shells and discard them if they have not opened at this point.
- Serve clams and mussels in bowls with broth. Suggestion: Serve with warm crusty bread such as a baguette to dunk in the broth.