sportsman fishing adventures limited


Ragout of Fresh Clams with Artichokes and Tomatoes

4 medium to large artichokes
1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 sprig of fresh thyme or a pinch of dried
1 cup homemade fish stock, light chicken stock, or reduced-sodium canned chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper, to taste
2 dozen small clams, well scrubbed
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound hot cooked linguine or spaghetti

With a small sharp knife, cut away the top of each artichoke. Cut a flat bottom on each, then peel away all the leaves from the bottoms. Remove the fuzzy choke and trim the bottoms down to a neat white portion. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a small bowl of water. Add the artichoke bottoms to the water as they are peeled to keep them from discoloring. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until they are crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread crumbs from the skillet and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes, watching closely so the garlic does not brown. Add the tomatoes, thyme, fish stock, wine, and hot red pepper. Remove the artichokes from the water, cut into 6 wedges each, and add them to the skillet. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the artichokes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the clams atop the vegetable mixture in the skillet. Cover and cook over medium-high heat just until all the clams have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, divide the linguine among 4 shallow soup or pasta bowls and top with a portion of the clams and sauce. Cut the other half of the lemon into wedges and add one to each bowl. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and serve at once. Yield: 4 servings

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