Clam Chowder Any Italian Would Love

Course Main Dish, Soups
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 servings


  • 5 pounds medium or large clams about 4 dozen
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 ounces thick-cut pancetta or bacon diced small
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes with some of the puree
  • 1 large Yukon Gold or other boiling potato diced small
  • 1 large stalk celery diced small
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Scrub the clams to remove sand. Combine 2 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Stir until it dissolves. Add the clams (add more water if necessary to submerge). Let stand for 2 hours to expel any sand.
  2. Lift the clams out of the water and combine in a large skillet with the wine and 1/2 cup water. Steam, covered, removing them as the shells open. Cool, remove the clams with a spoon and roughly chop them.
  3. Sauté the onion and pancetta with the olive oil in a medium saucepan until lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes, potato and celery. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the clam broth into the saucepan and add enough water to cover the vegetables with a few inches to spare. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Continue cooking until the potato is tender.
  4. Stir in the chopped clams and parsley (if using) shortly before eating. Serve with water crackers or, better yet, taralli.

Recipe Notes

Note: For a thicker consistency, stir in a little cornstarch dissolved in water toward the end of cooking.