- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 3/4 cup diced smoked ham
- 3/4 chopped red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 18 1/2-inch thick baguette slice
- Olive oil
- 5 pounds littleneck or middle neck clams (35 to 40 ), scrubbed
- 1 cup Chardonnay
- 1 cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh basil
Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over low heat. Add ham and bell pepper and saute until light brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and dried red pepper; stir 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Prepare barbeque (medium-high heat). Lightly brush baguette slices on both sides with oil. Grill bread until light brown on outside but soft on inside, about 2 minutes per side.
Combine clams and wine in large pot. Cover and boil over high heat until clams begin to open, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer clams to 6 bowls, discarding any clams that do not open. Add liquid in pot to skillet with ham-bell pepper mixture. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil. Pour mixture over clams, dividing equally. Serve clams, passing grilled bread separately.