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Clam Chowder

4 lbs. small, raw Manila clams in the shell
1 lb. red potatoes chopped into 1/2-inch bite-size cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 lb pancetta, cubed
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
2 Tbsp. chili paste
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cups heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Italian flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Place the clams in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Discard any clams with broken or open shells. Allow the clams to drain in the sink while you prepare your stock base.

In a large stock pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil and cook the potatoes until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon, but do not drain the water.

In a second large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and thyme over low heat. Add the pancetta to the oil and thyme and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the red onion, celery and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots and chili paste, and cook until the carrots soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and 3 cups of potato water and stir to combine.

After the chowder base is complete, heat a heavy sauté pan and place enough clams to fill, but not crowd, the bottom. Ladle 1 cup of the chowder base on top and cover the pan. Simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the majority of clams open. Pick out any clams that have not opened. Transfer cooked clams to the pot with the chowder base, and continue cooking in batches until clams are all cooked. 

Add the milk and cream to the pot and bring the chowder to a simmer. Ladle individual servings into large soup bowls.


This recipe is versatile enough to pair with both our 2012 Gold Ridge Hills Chardonnay and the 2011 Freestone Hills Pinot Noir.

555 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 | (707) 921-2860
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