Festa dei sette pesci - "Feast of the seven fishes" For those who grew up in a traditionally Italian household then you know what that means, for those who didn't, it refers to the meal served on Christmas Eve that encompasses many courses using 7 different types of seafood. In my family, Calabrian Clams is the first dish served (yes, I do realize clams are not actually a fish). We serve this dish while standing around the kitchen, telling stories of the year prior and serving our best wines of the night (we save the cheaper stuff once everyone is tipsy). I personally enjoy this dish with a cold crisp white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc. Be sure to have plenty of crusty Tuscan bread on hand to sop up all the salty, briny and spicy juices.
8 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 bushel flat leaf parsley (chopped)
6 Calabrian chili peppers (chopped)
¼ cup of olive oil
½ cup of white wine
Rinse clams well (fresh high-quality clams are very sandy) in a colander and then place to the side to dry. Grab your garlic, flat leaf parsley and Calabrian chili peppers and chop them fine.
Place a wide shallow sauté pan on the stove and light the burner. Adjust heat to medium high and add olive oil. Add the Calabrian chili peppers and garlic to the pan and sauté. Once the garlic starts to brown add your clams to the pan (this will cause the oil to splatter, be careful). Stir clams over high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add white wine, cover and cook over low heat for another 3-5 minutes.
Serve in a bowl with crusty bread and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
Throw away any clams that do not open after being cooked.