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North African Mussels and Clams
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1 pound clams (preferably Manila), rinsed
1 pound mussels, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 bunch green onions, including 2 inches green parts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron powder or turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup clam juice
1 cup Tomato Sauce
Serves 4 To 6
Place the clams and mussels in a large pan or bowl of salted water (1/3 cup salt to 4 quarters water). Let the shellfish sit for 1 hour to disgorge any sand, then scrub with a small stiff brush to remove any sand or algae from the shells. Discard any with broken shells. Use a small knife to scrape or cut the beard (the small hairy tuft protruding from one side of the shell) from the mussels. Rinse all the shellfish well.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan set on high heat until almost smoking, about 3 minutes. Add the cleaned mussels, clams, garlic, green onions, parsley, cumin, curry powder, saffrom or turmeric, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine, stirring up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the clam juice and tomato sauce, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the clam juice and tomato sauce, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the mussels and clams have all opened. Discard any that don't open. Remove the mussels and clams to a large serving bowl and cover to keep warm. Cook the sauce over high heat to reduce it slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour over the shellfish and serve with slices of pita bread to dip in the sauce.
Wine Suggestion - Gewurztraminer
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