the appetizer:

Don't settle for standard barbecue fare. Try recipes from the Italian Grill by Mario Batali, including Clams in Cartoccio; Piadina with Taleggio, Coppa, and Apples; and Pork Shoulder Braciole.

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Clams in Cartoccio

Serves 6

 

Cooking shellfish in cartoccio is one of the easiest ways to prepare it, and one of the most fun, and it's virtually bulletproof as well. Even if they overcook slightly, their steamy environment will keep them moist—and if you have to hold them for a few minutes before serving, they will stay hot and won't dry out.

Clams in Cartoccio

Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

In a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan, combine the oil and pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the peppers are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Stir in the parsley, remove from the heat, and set aside to cool completely.

Cut six 12-inch squares of heavy-duty foil. Layout the squares on a large work surface and fold up the edges of each one to form a shallow bowl. Divide the clams among them, then divide the pancetta mixture, with its liquid, among them. Scatter 4 tomato halves over each pile. Bring the four corners of each foil packet up over the clams like a hobo sack and twist the top together securely, crimping the edges to create a tight seal.

Place the packs on the hottest part of the grill and wait until you can hear the juices bubbling, about 2 to 3 minutes, then let cook for 4 minutes longer. Transfer the packets to a large platter and serve, warning your guests of the piscatorial facial that awaits them.

 

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This page created June 2008