3 pounds fresh small clams 3 Tablespoons butter 1 cup onion, chopped 4 Tablespoons shallots, minced 2 large garlic cloves 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 2 cups dry white wine 1 bay leaf A few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme Fresh ground pepper 1 cup cream (optional) Additional chopped parsley for garnish
Rinse clams to remove any surface sand.
Melt butter in a five quart sauté pan. Sauté onion, shallots and garlic until tender. Add wine, parsley, bay leaf and thyme. Bring liquid to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer briefly. Add clams and cover pot. Bring liquid back to boiling and reduce heat to medium.
Remove clams as soon as they open (about 2-3 minutes) and transfer them to a shallow bowl. Remove bay leaf and thyme. Add cream, if desired, to broth. Heat briefly.
Ladle broth over clams holding back the last bit of liquid that may contain sand.
Garnish with parsley and serve with crisp gf french bread.