Food & Drink

Littleneck Clams with Calabrian Chili Broth

A Miami chef shares his favorite meal for a low-key New Year’s Eve at home

Photo: Alpareno Restaurant Group

After a few weeks of festively rich dishes, ringing in the new year with a fresh, less complex recipe can be a treat. “New Year’s Eve is always a busy holiday for anyone working in a restaurant,” says Chef Nivan Patel of the Miami-based Orno. “If I had the night off, I’d choose to stay in and make a meal at home.” His go-to recipe is a dish of littleneck clams sauteed in a zesty chili butter sauce and nestled atop bucatini pasta. The simple yet elevated entree is a staple at Orno, his New American restaurant in Coral Gables. 

Though Patel usually makes his own pasta by hand (“it’s a very relaxing and creative process”), this recipe will taste just as good with store-bought pasta, he promises. “It’s a great fit for New Year’s because it pairs really nicely with wine and Champagne.” 


  • Littleneck Clams with Calabrian Chili Broth (Yield: 4 servings)


    • 2 lb. littleneck clams, washed and rinsed to remove sand

    • 4 cups ice

    • ¼ cup salt


    • ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

    • 1 tbsp. Calabrian chili, chopped

    • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and ground

    • 1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

    • 1 lemon, zested


    • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

    • ¼ cup white wine

    • ¼ cup water

    • 1 lemon, juiced

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • 1 lb. cooked bucatini


  1. Place clams in a large bowl; add ice cubes and ¼ cup salt. Add just enough cold water to cover the clams by 1 inch. Let clams purge for 30 minutes. Place all ingredients for chili butter in a mixing bowl and mash together. Heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil in a large saute pan. Add clams, white wine, and water and cover for 3 minutes or until all clams are open. Once they’ve opened, add the chili butter, fresh lemon, salt, and cooked pasta and swirl it all together. Cook for 2 minutes and serve.