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Clams with Longaniza, Potatoes, and Saffron

• 1 # potatoes, cubed

• 1 T. olive oil

• 8 oz longaniza, diced

• 2 T. olive oil (if needed)

• 1 onion, julienned

• 5 cloves garlic, chopped

• 1 roasted red pepper, julienned

• 2/3 c. white wine

• Generous pinch of saffron

• 1/3 C. flour

• 5 C. clam stock

• 2/3 C. pureed tomatoes

• Pinch of red pepper flakes

• 1.5 Lb. clams

• 2 T. parsley, chopped

• 1/2 lemon zest

• Crusty bread to serve

1. In a small pot, combine the cubed potatoes with cold salted water and boil until fork tender. Remove and set aside.

2. Combine the white wine and the saffron and set aside.

3. In a large dutch oven, heat 1 T. olive oil until hot. Add the diced longaniza and crisp up on all sides. Do not let it stick to the bottom of the pan. When all sides are crisp, remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.

4. Add the 2 T. oil if needed (if there isn’t enough fat left over from rendering the longaniza), and heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and saute until translucent. Next add the garlic, and saute for 1 more minute. Add the pepper and saute for another minute.

5. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until the raw alcohol flavor subsides. Then add the flour stirring well to incorporate. Do not let the flour stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add the clam stock, the pureed tomatoes, and the crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer and let reduce until the soup starts to thicken.

7. When the soup has thickened slightly, add the potatoes, let cook for 5 minutes and then add the clams and cover the pot. Let the clam cook until open 1-2 minutes. When the clams are cooked, add the parsley and lemon zest and gently toss in. Check for salt and pepper seasoning. Serve with bread.