Dinner Tonight: Drunken Clams & Mustardy Roasted Broccoli

Enjoy a bit of garlicky goodness in the forms of mustardy roasted broccoli and wine-soaked clams.

The Menu

Drunken Clams with Sausage by QueenSashy

Serves 4

4 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
2 sweet Italian sausages (about 10 oz.), casing removed and meat separated into small pieces
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 of small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
5 small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Muscat
10 large fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, until soft, for about 3-4 min. Add the garlic, celery and fennel and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the sausage meat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned.

2. Add the wine (both dry and sweet) and bring to boil. Add the tarragon. Add the clams, cover with a lid and cook, shaking the saucepan from time to time, until the clams are open, for about 6 minutes.

3. Add the heavy cream, gently shake the saucepan to mix, and simmer over low heat uncovered, for another 2-3 minutes.

4. Spoon the clams into bowls or soup plates. Stir the parsley into the broth, season with pepper and then pour over the clams. Serve with fresh bread.

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Roasted Broccoli with Almonds, Roasted Garlic and Mustard Vinaigrette

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The Grocery List (for 4)

6 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup whole almonds
4 dozen clams
2 sweet Italian sausages

Fresh parsley

Fresh tarragon

Fresh crusty bread for dunking

We trust you're a pretty-on-top-of-it type, and probably have an onion, garlic, celery, sweet and dry white wine, cream, olive oil, lemons, whole-grain mustard, salt, and pepper lying around. If not, you'll need those, too!

The Plan

1. For only one teeny tiny reason, this Dinner Tonight takes a little longer than usual: the roasted garlic for the broccoli. It needs a little over an hour in the oven to get luxuriously soft and sweet. Prep and measure the rest of the ingredients while it roasts. You'll also have time to whip up that dreamy dressing for the broccoli.

2. Once the garlic is finished, crank the oven up a bit and pop in the broccoli.

3. Turn your attention to the clams. If you've ever worked with clams or mussels before, you know how quickly things go, so now is the moment when you actually have to pay a little attention.

4. Breathe in the steamy goodness of wine and shellfish. Pull the broccoli from the oven, dress, and serve with the clams, their liquor, and (ideally) some good bread for dunking. Time to feast!

First photo by James Ransom, second by Tom Hirschfeld