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BARLEY WITH CLAM SAUCE

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, preferably Italian-style

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1

1/2 cups medium chopped fresh fennel

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup dry white wine1

1/2 cups cherry tomatoes

3 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed well

3 cups cooked pearl barley

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon of the oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and fennel, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the wine, tomatoes and clams, cover tightly and increase heat to high. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, checking now and again and transferring the clams as they open to a bowl. Discard any clams that don’t open.

Add the barley to the clam liquid left in the saucepan and heat over medium, stirring, for 3 minutes. Return the clams to the pan and cook, stirring, until they are heated through. Ladle the mixture into 4 pasta or soup bowls and top each portion with a quarter of the sauteed breadcrumbs and parsley.

Sarah Moulton, AP



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