Steamed Littleneck Clams With Tuscan Beans, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Garlic Brushetta

Steamed Littleneck Clams With Tuscan Beans, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Garlic Brushetta

24 littleneck clams

1-1/2 cups dried cannelini beans

1/2 small white onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme

Salt

4 1/2-inch slices rustic Italian bread

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 whole clove garlic

1 large leek, thinly sliced

1 head fennel, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

2-4 Tbsp. white-wine vinegar

1 cup water

1/4 tsp. hot red-pepper flakes

1 tsp. fennel seeds

Slow-roasted tomatoes (recipe below)

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, for garnish

Scrub the littleneck clams and refrigerate.

Pick through beans to remove any stones, and rinse. Put beans in a pot with enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let sit one hour.

Drain beans, return to the pot, and cover with one inch of water. Add the onion, celery, smashed garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Add a pinch of salt and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and drain. Discard the large vegetable pieces.

Brush bread on both sides with olive oil. Grill bread on both sides. Rub with garlic clove. Put each bread slice in one of four bowls and keep warm.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add sliced leek and fennel, and cook until tender. Add chopped garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add white-wine vinegar, water, red-pepper flakes, fennel seeds, and clams. Cover and steam until clams open.

Transfer clams to the four bowls. Add slow-roasted tomatoes and white beans to the pot, and cook until heated through and juices emulsify. Adjust seasonings, and pour tomato-bean mixture over clams.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

SLOW-ROASTED TOMATOES:

24 ripe plum tomatoes

6 garlic cloves, smashed

18 basil leaves

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. hot red-pepper flakes

Pinch of salt

Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Wash the tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place tomatoes in a roasting pan. Add everything except the oil and toss well. Add oil (enough to cover the tomatoes by one half) and toss well. Spread out tomatoes in a roasting pan. Roast 3 hours. The tomatoes should be tender, but not falling apart.

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