A Superb Flavor Combo
This one-dish meal has it all: rich Italian sausage (meat), briny clams (seafood), leafy greens (vegetable) and rice-like pasta (starch) to soak up the delicious juices.
Ragout of Clams with Spinach, Sausage and Orzo
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh curly spinach, thick stems discarded
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 5 medium shallots, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 3 pounds littleneck or other small hard-shell clams, scrubbed
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, sliced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the spinach, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain and let cool, then squeeze dry. Coarsely chop the spinach.
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large shallow serving bowl.
Heat a large enameled cast-iron casserole over high heat until hot. Add the sausage and thyme and cook, breaking up the sausage, until the meat is golden, about 6 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook until wide open, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the clams as they are done to the serving bowl with the orzo. Discard the thyme sprigs.
Boil the broth in the casserole until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, butter and lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the clams and toss well. Sprinkle the parsley over the ragout and serve.
Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.