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Crispy Gnocchi with Littleneck Clams

Crispy Gnocchi with Littleneck Clams

Don’t be tempted to disturb the gnocchi when browning—the hands-off approach is key to letting them develop a deep brown color on one side. This recipe is from Oberlin, one of the Hot 10, America's Best New Restaurants 2016.


  • 2½ pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), scrubbed
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal or 1½ teaspoons Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat to 425°. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and place directly on oven rack; roast until flesh is very soft when squeezed gently and skin is crisp, 60–75 minutes. Immediately slice open lengthwise and scoop out flesh; set skins aside. Pass potato flesh through ricer onto a clean work surface. Let cool.

  • Meanwhile, bring clams, reserved potato skins, and 1 cup water to a boil in a large pot. Cover and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until clams open, 5–8 minutes; discard any clams that do not open. Pluck clams from shells and place in a medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. Pour clam cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.

  • Dust riced potatoes with ¾ cup flour and sprinkle with 2 tsp. or 1½ tsp. salt. Drizzle egg over, then use a fork or your fingers to gently mix ingredients until just incorporated and a smooth dough forms (be careful not to overwork or cooked gnocchi will be gluey and tough), about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with ½" round tip. (Alternatively, use a large resealable plastic bag and snip off 1 corner.)

  • Pipe dough onto a lightly floured surface into 24" lengths about ½" thick. Cut crosswise into ½" pieces and dust lightly with flour. Arrange gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet.

  • Working in 3 batches, cook gnocchi in a large pot of simmering lightly salted water until doubled in size and they float to the top, about 3 minutes (a minute or so more if frozen). Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a rimmed baking sheet as they are done cooking. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

  • Melt a third of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add one-third of gnocchi to skillet and arrange in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until dark brown and crisp underneath, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another rimmed baking sheet. Working in 2 batches, repeat with remaining butter and remaining gnocchi.

  • Wipe out skillet and heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add clam cooking liquid and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

  • Add clams, gnocchi, and lemon juice to sauce; season with salt and pepper. Cook, gently tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats gnocchi.

  • Divide gnocchi among bowls and top with chives.

  • Do Ahead: Gnocchi can be formed 1 month ahead. Freeze on baking sheet until solid; transfer to resealable plastic bags. Clams can be cooked 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill clams and cooking liquid separately.

Recipe by Cook & Brown Public House, Providence, RI,Photos by Elizabeth Cecil

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 680 Fat (g) 32 Saturated Fat (g) 16 Cholesterol (mg) 130 Carbohydrates (g) 80 Dietary Fiber (g) 6 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 19 Sodium (mg) 1400Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 fresh red chile, such as Fresno, split open lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Falanghina or Pinot Grigio
  • 2 pounds cockles or littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 pound fresh spinach or plain gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat oil with garlic and chile in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. When garlic is golden on both sides, remove from heat and carefully add wine (it will splatter). Bring to a simmer add cockles and cover pan tightly. Cook until cockles open, about 3 minutes uncover and remove from heat. Discard any unopened clams.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

Return skillet to medium stir in reserved cooking water and parsley. Gently add gnocchi, stirring to mix with clams. Divide among 4 bowls serve immediately.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

Fresh littleneck clams with garlic, white wine, parmesan cheese, and linguine can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes. This classic Italian pasta dish is easy to make but tastes like a special treat.

Let’s talk about today’s recipe. We have juicy, sweet, salty, briny fresh clams, in a sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic, white wine, parmesan cheese, and that starchy pasta cooking water. The linguine finishes cooking in the sauce, soaking up all the flavors.

While using canned clams is a good option if you can’t make it to the grocery store, I think fresh clams really make the dish. I’ve had some not great experiences with wild clams where I soaked them and scrubbed them and did the cornmeal thing to try to purge them of sand and soaked again, and the clams still came out gritty and sandy. I sort of gave up on cooking clams after that.

But then I found out farm raised clams are already purged of sand and cleaned. All you need to do is rinse then under cold water. You want to cook them live so you do need to buy them on the same day you’re cooking them. Before cooking, throw out any clams that have broken shells, or any clams that are open and don’t close if you tap the shell.

I’ve had great luck buying farm-raised littleneck clams. My grocery store usually sells a 50-clam bag for $20. Assuming you have to pick out a few dead ones, that will still give you at least 10 clams per person in this recipe, which serves four. The farm-raised clams have never been sandy or gritty and never tasted off. They’re the same clams I use in my Cod with New England Clam Chowder Sauce. Perfection every time.

Here are the main ingredients for this recipe. There are the clams, some bottled clam juice, whole wheat linguine, white wine, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and parsley.

Does anyone eat whole wheat pasta anymore? I know so many people who are on a diet or trying to eat lower carb who don’t eat pasta at all. They might substitute zucchini noodles, or maybe the higher protein pasta made with lentils. On the other hand, there are the pasta traditionalists who prefer regular pasta and don’t care for whole wheat.

I mean, there’s got to be some pasta-eaters looking for a middle ground. Some brands sell pasta that’s 50% whole grain, 50% white flour. Presumably someone is buying it.

I love the taste of 100% whole wheat pasta. I’m not cutting carbs, and zoodles just don’t have the same starchy taste. Jonathan, who won’t eat brown rice and doesn’t really like whole wheat bread, claims to genuinely like whole wheat pasta. Sometimes I want a particular shape that isn’t available in whole wheat, like the jumbo shells for my Mushroom Stuffed Shells. But most of the time, we eat whole wheat pasta.

Even though it has the same amount of calories as white pasta, I can really tell the difference when eating whole grains. If I have a big bowl of white flour pasta, I’ll go into full-on food coma after, needing a nap or a cup of coffee. But with the extra fiber in whole grain pasta, I don’t get that effect. Instead it’s a slow steady stream of energy, like you’re meant to get from carbs.

But that’s my personal preference. I’m not a nutritionist, and I think you should eat what you like. Please use any pasta you enjoy for this recipe.

Anyway, here are the steamed clams. Throw out any clams that don’t open after cooking.

Here’s that sauce with olive oil, garlic, wine, clam juice, parsley, and butter. After I took this picture, I poured this into the pot with the cooked pasta and added the parmesan cheese and some pasta cooking water. I added most of the clams, which I removed from the shells, and then finished cooking the pasta in the sauce.

Pan-fried crispy gnocchi, with fresh clams, white wine sauce, and a crispy panko and parmesan cheese topping.

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There are half-packed luggages lying around our bedroom, and Ziploc bags full of hair care products strewn about the bed. As I sit here writing this post, it is the night before my husband and I are set to travel out on another international adventure!

It’s fitting that this post should be published today, the day that we arrive back in Italy. Fifteen months ago we travelled on my first ever cruise to Rome for our honeymoon. We spent two weeks traveling the Eastern Mediterranean, ending up back in Rome. Being in Rome is a singularly unique experience, I think. People say you’re at the center of the world when you’re traipsing the streets of New York, or Los Angeles, or Washington DC. I disagree. You are at the center of humanity – the center of history – when you’re in Rome. The culture and ambiance of the city are second to none.

And so that is why just two months after we returned from our honeymoon, we booked yet another European cruise with Celebrity Cruise, this time aboard their Western Mediterranean expedition. We start again today in Rome, spending a weekend enjoying this illuminating city, before boarding the Celebrity Reflection and heading to northern Italy, France, Spain, and Gibraltar. I cannot wait for this adventure to begin!

And while we travel the Mediterranean, I hope to be eating tons of tasty Italian dishes, like my favorite: gnocchi! Today I’m sharing my “mash up recipe” for crispy potato gnocchi with a classic clams and white wine sauce.

First we make a tasty topping from Panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Simple, classic! After cooking the gnocchi, I like to sear them in a pan with some butter. This gives them a lovely crispy texture on the outside, while still allowing the gnocchi to retain that delicate creamy texture on the inside. The dish is complete with a quick lemon white wine sauce and clams. Serve with that Panko and parmesan topping and you can’t go wrong!

Now it’s your turn: what is your favorite recipe that reminds you of vacation? Share with me by commenting below!

Be sure to follow along with our European adventure on Instagram @thecharmingdetroiter!


Delicious Italian recipes and techniques. All of my Italian favorites. Pasta dishes, gnocchi recipes, beef recipes, and aperitifs, authentic limoncello, and Italian cocktails such as the Aperol Spritz and Negroni.

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Frisée and Potato Salad

This is another take on traditional potato salad, where frisée adds a bit of a crunch. If you don’t have frisée, arugula would be a good peppery substitute.

This potato salad is also vegan, making it a great alternative for traditional potato salad at backyard summer barbecues.


  • 1 large baking potato
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 6 ounces frisée, white and light green parts only, torn into bite-size pieces (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup finely grated cauliflower


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Wrap the potato in foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let the potato cool, then cut into 1/2-inch dice.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the mustard seeds for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Wipe out the saucepan and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in it. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil, then whisk in the vinegar, mustard and mustard seeds. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced potato and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp in spots, about 7 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the potato with the frisée, chives and half of the dressing season with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer the salad to a platter and sprinkle the cauliflower on top. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

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&ldquoI love all seafood, but soft shell crabs are one of my favorites. Lightly sautéed, they turn golden and sweet, and the briny meat stays juicy.&rdquo

&ndash Joe Gurrera, Citarella&rsquos Owner and Original Fishmonger.


What it&rsquos made of. Where it comes from. How it&rsquos caught. Who grows it. That&rsquos what matters. Our commitment to exceptional quality begins with a signature mixture of knowledge, passion, and attention to detail.

And while our heart belongs to New York, there&rsquos no distance we won&rsquot go to source the world&rsquos finest food. That&rsquos why Citarella is a culinary experience as well-considered as the connoisseurs who come through our doors. Because it&rsquos a store that serves a city that demands excellence&mdashall day, every day.

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Bacon, Butter, Cheese & Garlic

A truly special occasion dish sure to please anyone who loves clams. My favorite part? The pancetta. I love bacon.

1 lb littleneck clams
1/4 lb pancetta, diced
1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T butter
2 C rock salt
Olive oil

Soak the clams in cold water for about 30 minutes. Discard any that don't close when gently tapped. Put the clams in a pot and boil for about 5 minutes or until they are all opened. Discard any that don't open. Let them cool slightly.

Separate the clam shells in half and scoop out the clam meat. Chop the clams. Spread the rock salt out on a sheet pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain. Add the butter to the same skillet and add the shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add in the wine and deglaze the pan. Cook until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and stir in the pancetta, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon juice and clams.

Spoon the filling into the clam shells. Drizzle them with olive oil. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt and the filling is hot.

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