SOFT POLENTA WITH CLAMS (for four)
3-½ cups low-salt chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal, available at Italian markets, natural food stores and some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute regular yellow cornmeal)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped into ¼ inch dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teasp0on hot red pepper flakes
20 littleneck or manila clams, scrubbed and rinsed
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1. Bring broth, cream and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes, until polenta is soft, thick and creamy, stirring often. Remove from the heat and cover the pan tightly with a lid or plastic wrap to keep the polenta warm.
2. In a 12 inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the clams and wine, cover, bring to a boil and cook until all the clams have opened.
3. Add the parsley and cook, stirring, for about 20 seconds.
4. Divide the polenta among four plates and spoon five clams over each puddle of polenta. Spoon the cooking juices over the clams and serve immediately.
adapted from Mario Batali, Molto Italiano