Cozze con bruschetta in tegame
Preparation – Medium
Serves 4 – 6
You can use mussels, small clams or both in this deliciously satisfying soup, served in individual bowls. One more way to use up leftover bread. Serve it with a green salad and some extra toasted bread and there you have it.
4 lbs clams or mussels
4 cloves garlic, halved
6 T extra virgin olive oil
4 T tomato paste (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 t crushed oregano, or 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
2 slices Italian style country bread per person, 1 inch thick, toasted
Clean shellfish, discard any broken or open ones.
Place water to a depth of 1/2 an inch in a heavy pan.
Bring to a boil.
Drop mussels in and cover steaming them open over very high heat.
Remove from pan, discarding any that are still closed. Place in a warm bowl.
Reserve the liquid and strain through cheesecloth to catch any sand that might have been released by mussels.
Toast the bread.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and lightly brown the garlic.
Add the tomato paste stirring with a wooden spoon and sprinkle on the oregano.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the wine, the liquid released from the mussels as well as a few grinds of the pepper mill. Simmer gently for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the mussels and heat through.
Brush the bread with a clove of garlic and place in individual bowls.
Ladle the soup over the bread.
Sprinkle with parsley if you wish.
Can be prepared without the tomato. Brown garlic and add liquids then the mussels.
Preparation – Easy
Acquacotta means ‘cooked water’ in Italian and this simple dish has as many variations as there are people who serve it.
•1 medium onion, thinly sliced
•2 + 4 (optional) TBSP extra virgin olive oil
•1 medium tomato, diced
•1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped fine
•1 quart water
•1 leaf basil (some recipes call for ‘wild mint’ instead)
•4 thick slices of stale bread, preferably French or Italian bread – can be toasted
•4 fresh eggs at room temperature (optional)
•salt and pepper to taste
•grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Large, heavy saucepan.
IN a heavy saucepan large enough to accommodate the soup, on low/medium heat, sauté the sliced onion in the two tablespoons of olive oil until soft and transparent – golden but not browned.
ADD the diced tomato and continue sautéing on low heat until soft and combined with onion.
ADD 1 quart of water, the chopped stalk of celery, the basil, salt to taste. Cover and cook at very low simmer for an hour.
ABOUT five minutes before serving, crack the eggs into a separate bowl and add to the broth. They should cook until the whites are firm, the yellows liquid, about 5 minutes. You can spoon hot soup over the eggs to speed the cooking process.
PLACE one slice of the bread (best toasted) in each warmed serving bowl.
TASTE soup for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed, then pour the soup into the bowls, one egg and one T olive oil (optional) in each bowl.
SERVE with ample grated cheese.