As a New Englander, Littleneck clams are my life during the summer. They're so sweet and bite sized and I love how easy they are to prepare! I eat them very often. I've always loved the combination of Clams + Parsley and so I added the parsley flavor by way of the gnocchi to check carbs and herbs off the list at once.
In this recipe, I show you how to make your own gnocchi, but if you wanted to cut straight to the eating clams part, you could use pre-made gnocchi or any other type of pasta. I have to say though, these Parsley Ricotta Gnocchi are delightful.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Total time: 1 hour
For the gnocchi:
1 15 oz container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, pureed into about 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon salt
For the clams:
2 lbs or 2 dozen littleneck clams, rinsed
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 - 2 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini peppers (I use the Pastene jarred ones)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Let's do it!
- Start by making the gnocchi. Combine all gnocchi ingredients in a large bowl. Mixture should form a sticky dough that you can mold in your fingertips, but if it is too sticky to work with, add a little extra flour to get it to this consistency.
- Separate the dough into 4 sections and on a floured surface, roll each section into a rope about 12 - 18 inches long and then cut each rope into inch long gnocchi. Place on a floured plate or parchment paper lined baking sheet in the fridge until you're ready to cook.
- Note: you can also freeze the gnocchi for future enjoyment- highly recommend!
- When you're ready to make the meal, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Then, to prepare the clams, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan (that has a lid). After about a minute, sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 - 60 seconds.
- Next, add the garlic, chopped pepperoncini and wine and cook uncovered over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes until it has reduced by about 1/3.
- Now add the clams to this pan and cook covered for 6 - 10 minutes. The clams are done once they're all opened (if a clam has cooked for this entire period and has not opened, just discard it).
- While the clams are cooking, your water should be boiled for the gnocchi. Working in batches, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and remove once they have floated to the surface- this should take only a minute or 2.
- Transfer the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon to a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat to sear for a few minutes. You want the gnocchi to be light golden brown and slightly crispy. Yes, this recipe requires 3 pans at the same time but I promise it is worth it!
- To serve, distribute a portion of the gnocchi on each plate, top with a few clams and then spoon some of the liquid from the clam saucepan over the dish to use as a sauce.
- Garnish with fresh parsley or lemon!