Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali
2 hr 5 min
20 min
1 hr 45 min
6 servings


  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 pounds Cherrystone clams, scrubbed
Basic Tomato Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Kosher salt


Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add salt.

Slowly whisk the polenta into the water in the top section of the double boiler, whisking in 1 direction to avoid creating lumps. Continue whisking, scraping the bottom and corners of the pot, for 5 minutes. When the polenta begins to thicken, cover it, and fit the top of the double boiler into the bottom part of the double boiler. Cook for 90 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes. Once it is ready, turn it out onto a board.

Once the polenta is ready for serving, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, and add the garlic. Cook until it is golden brown, then add the tomato sauce, wine, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the clams, cover the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, until they all open. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes, discard any that do not open. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve a wedge of polenta on each of 6 heated dinner plates and spoon some of the clam cooking sauce over it. Divide the clams evenly among the plates and season with salt and pepper.

Basic Tomato Sauce:

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.

This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Trending Videos 7 Videos

Get the Recipe

Gabriele's Limoncello 01:28

Gabriele shares his family recipe for a delicious summertime libation.

Similar Topics:


Fried Polenta

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Creamy Quick Polenta

Recipe courtesy of Gabriele Corcos|Debi Mazar

Zuppa di Vongole: Clam Soup

Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff over Creamy Polenta

Recipe courtesy of Tiffani Thiessen

Tuscan Beef Stew with Polenta

Recipe courtesy of Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Recipe courtesy of Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

Lion Head Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of Ching-He Huang

Mote con Huesillos

Recipe courtesy of Ana Sofia Pelaez

Iggy's Clam Cakes

Recipe courtesy of Iggy's Doughboys


Trending Videos

Brunch Bonanza

So Much Pretty Food Here