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.
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.
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!
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.
Want to find this wine? Go here: Wine Searcher