At this time of year, I find myself reaching more and more for crisp, steely whites and zesty Rosatos.  When that happens, I can’t help thinking of the coastline, of fresh clams and the best cuts of fish.  Drink what’s local. Eat what’s local.  I try to practice those axioms whenever I can so when I came across an array of local seafood recently, the idea crystallized.

Tuscan Seafood Stew

2 dozen littleneck clams
1 pound fresh Swordfish
8 ounces fresh Calamari
6 large sea scallops
2 links Andouille sausage chopped fine
1/2 bottle dry white or rose wine
2 medium carrots quartered and chopped
1/2 sweet Vidalia onion chopped small
Handful of frozen peas for color

Start by sautéing the onion, carrots and the Andouille in some extra virgin olive oil.  This adds a ton of flavor and some kick to the final broth, plus the sweetness from the carrots balances the heat of the Andouille.   You could substitute other sausage if you like.

~ Here is the first step. We are starting to pick up some color on the pan and the sausage. That is what you’re looking for. ~

Once the sausage and vegetables begin to caramelize, add the clams to the pot, add the wine to the pot and cover over medium heat to steam the clams open.  Discard any clams that do not open.   While this is happening,  sear the Swordfish in a frying pan with a dollop of olive oil for about 2 minutes per side. They won’t be completely cooked through, but you will finish them in the large pot.

Clams and wine in a pot

~ These are the clams and the liquid in the pot. This is enough liquid to steam them open, but you can always add more wine or a bit of water if you need to. Cover and don’t check them for 6-7 minutes. They should steam open in about 10 minutes ~


~ The Swordfish steaks are searing while the clams steam open. These were patted dry, salted and peppered and were only about 1″ thick. They will be mostly cooked through in about 2-4 minutes. ~

Once the clams steam open,  add the scallops, calamari and peas to the pot.  Stir through.  Then add the swordfish on top of everything and cover for 2-3 minutes.  Everything will finish cooking.   The dish is done!

Seafood and broth in a bowl

~ The finished dish. Plate the swordfish on the bottom of the bowl and ladle everything else over top. The broth tastes of the sea! The fish and shellfish are succulent. This is a simple, outstanding dish! ~

And what did we drink?  An absolute steal of a value!  If you need a house white wine to buy by the case and enjoy all summer, this is your wine.  The 2015 Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio is 100% Pinot Grigio sourced from hillside vineyards in southern Tuscany.  It’s vinified entirely in stainless steel and is fresh and vibrant.  Crisp flavors of lemon zest, mango, and minerality are interesting and concentrated. The aromas mirror the flavors and add hints of green apple and lemon grass.  Medium bodied, refreshing, an impressive harbinger of this outstanding vintage.  Super value.  Perfect with the seafood but would function equally well with pesto or as an aperitif.  89 points.  About $8.

~ One of the best values I’ve had from Tuscany in a long while ~

Want to find this wine?   Go here:  Wine Searcher


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