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Try this recipe for delicious Neopolitan style clams from Bruciato's Chef Brendan McGill

Bainbridge Island's Bruciato serves up delicious pizza and more. Chef Brendan McGill's recipe is perfect for summer in the Pacific Northwest.

SEATTLE — Summer is a great time to take the ferry over for a perfect day trip to Bainbridge Island.  There you'll find Bruciato serving up delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas and more.

Chef Brendan McGill stopped by New Day NW to share a tasty clam recipe you can try making at home!

Recipe: Bruciato's Guazzetto di Vongole, Chef Brendan McGill

(Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as an appetizer)

Cooking these clams in a hot oven, as we do at the restaurant, defies common sense (this is usually something that would be cooked on a stovetop with direct heat conducted to the pan). If you have an oven running at 800°F or higher, you can toss all the ingredients in a pan and set in the hearth of the oven. The clams will pop while the wine, olive oil, ’Nduja, and garlic form a magical sauce with the liquor the clams expel as they cook and pop open. Just a couple shakes in the mouth of the inferno and the alcohol is cooked out of the wine, the garlic is tender, and the dark red-stained pork fat from the ’Nduja come together into an intoxicating sauce you’ll want to dip each clam (and your bread) in.


  • 1-kilo clams, purged
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 100 grams ’Nduja (chorizo is a decent substitute but the Calabrians are renowned for their spicy chilies and they are the star of this spreadable, fermented sausage)
  • A few cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 250 grams white wine
  • A splash of excellent olive oil
  • Herbs: mint, parsley, oregano, and chives. (Any or all of these, or any combination)


  1. Set the clams, onion, pinches of ‘Nduja, garlic, white wine, and olive oil into a pan or shallow pot. Throw into a hot wood-fired oven or over a beachside campfire (or your stove at home, if you must).
  2. Cook until the clams pop open and the sauce reduces around them. It’s okay to cook it all somewhat furiously together; hot and quick is the way.
  3. Taste the sauce; it should be reduced in half. You shouldn’t be able to taste the raw alcohol in the broth. The clam broth and ‘Nduja are pretty salty, but if you need to add a little punch of salt to the broth, go ahead.
  4. Place the dish on a trivet and eat right out of the cooking vessel. Serve with focaccia from the oven or hearty olive-oil-rubbed sourdough grilled over your campfire.

Enjoy with an untamed Southern Italian white wine like Falanghina or Sardinian Vermentino.

RELATED: Chef Greg Atkinson's top 3 eateries on Bainbridge Island - Where the Chefs Eat

RELATED: Brendan McGill - Where the Chefs Eat

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