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Grilled Clams with Sambuca and Italian Sausage

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 6 clams and 1 lemon wedge)
A vegetable grill grate can be used in place of the shellfish grate. Or buy bigger clams to set directly on the grill rack.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage (about 1/2 link)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice day-old white bread
  • 2 tablespoons Sambuca or Pernod (licorice-flavored liqueur)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • 36 littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 6 lemon wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 120
  • caloriesfromfat 23 %
  • fat 3.1 g
  • satfat 0.8 g
  • monofat 0.8 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 15 g
  • carbohydrate 6.2 g
  • fiber 0.4 g
  • cholesterol 44 mg
  • iron 5.9 mg
  • sodium 221 mg
  • calcium 38 mg

How to Make It

  1. Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage; cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, peppers, butter, and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  2. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until breadcrumbs form. Add breadcrumbs to sausage mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour Sambuca into one side of skillet. Ignite Sambuca with a long match, and let flames die down. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt.

  3. Prepare grill to high heat.

  4. Shuck clams; discard any broken shells or shells that remain open. Place 12 clam halves on shellfish grate; discard top halves of shells. Top each with about 1 teaspoon breadcrumb mixture. Place grate on grill. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until clam juice in shells boils. Remove clams from grate; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining clams and breadcrumbs. Serve with lemon wedges.

How to Grill (Workman, 2001) and BBQ USA (Workman, 2003)