In honor of what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 102nd birthday, we bring you recipes from his favorite haunt, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant of New York®. This recipe for Frank’s Clams Posillipo is not only one of Frank’s favorites, it’ll soon be one of yours.
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- 32 Littleneck clams
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 6 Garlic cloves, halved
- 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
- 28 ounce can Plum tomatoes, whole, with juice
- To taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Basil, fresh, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Flat-leaf parsley, chopped (plus more as needed for garnish)
- 1 Scrub the clams with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and place in a large pot. Add cold water to just cover (or slightly less) and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the clams to a large bowl as they open and discard any that do not open.
- 2 Strain the cooking liquid through a chinois/strainer lined with a coffee filter. Reserve 3/4 cup of the strained cooking liquid.
- 3 Return the clam to the pot, add cold water and stir to remove any remaining sand. Drain and reserve clams.
- 4 Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium flame and sauté the garlic halves until golden (about 2 minutes). Remove garlic with tongs and discard. Add the onions to the garlic oil and sauté 3-4 minutes, until soft but not brown. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add them and their juice to the saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 5 Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato paste, if using, and add the basil and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Simmer UNCOVERED 5 minutes.
- 6 Add the reserved clam broth and clams to the sauce and bring to boil. Cover the saucepan, reduce heat and sismmer 8 to 10 minutes or until the clams are heated through. Spoon the clams and sauce into serving bowls, garnish with remaining parsley and serve immediately with hot, crusty bread.