This is an alternate use, or use for any leftover Cioppino base that you may have on hand.
Lately I have been devouring cioppino, a.k.a. Italian fish stew. I just love it as a light dinner of fish poached in a light but flavorful tomato base with a hunk of bread to sop up the remains.
Also, once you have made the base and have it in your fridge, dinner only takes 10 minutes.
And as previously stated, in the summer, having any source of heat at a minimum is best.
This time around I only had enough for one, so I decided that just using it as a base for pasta and clams might be good.
And it was.
Above you see the sand and grit that was expelled from the clams when I put them in a bowl of cold salted water for half an hour.
Do not skip this step, as you definitely do not want all of that crud in your food!
With the pasta already dropped into boiling salted water, I brought the leftover cioppino stew base up to a simmer and added the cleaned clams.
Put the lid on the pot and let it bubble for 6-7 minutes, or until all the clams have opened.
Give the pot a jiggle every few minutes if the clams are cramped for space to open.
I prefer to remove the shells before serving so there's less mess while eating.
Discard any clams that do not open.
Add the cooked pasta to the cioppino sauce for the last minute of cooking.
This really could have served two people in the end, so I'll remember that for next time.
But it turned out quite nicely, kind of like a cross between red clam sauce and marinara, but with the undertone of fennel.
Nice change-up from the usual fish stew.