Sauteed Clams with Chickpea Cream
- 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 small chile pepper, minced
- 3 pounds Littleneck clams, cleaned well
- 3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced Italian parsley
- 1 lemon zested into thin strips, and juiced
- Serving suggestion: 4 slices toasted country bread
In a large saute pan, heat 1/4 cup oil, garlic, and chile pepper over medium-high heat and cook until garlic is lightly brown. Remove garlic from pan. Add clams and cover pan. Cook until clams steam open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove clams from pan and place in a dish. Add some steaming juices to keep clams warm. Cover. Reserve remaining steaming juice; it should be about 1 cup.
Pour 1 cup reserved juice into blender and add chickpeas. Process until smooth. Season with salt, if necessary, and pepper. Divide puree among 4 shallow bowls. Top with clams and sprinkle with parsley. Combine the lemon zest and remaining olive oil, and drizzle over the top. Serve right away with toasted bread, if desired.
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