Rich Vellante’s New England Clambake in a Bag

August 26, 2020 Updated: August 26, 2020

Rich Vellante’s New England Clambake in a Bag

Using the en papillote technique, Rich Vellante, executive chef of Boston-based Legal Sea Foods, steams lobsters, clams, mussels, sausage, corn, onions, and potatoes in a paper bag—along with rockweed and beer—that’s placed in the oven. The result is an easy and delicious clambake that looks and tastes as if it were created on a Cape Cod beach.

Serves 4

  • 2 (1 1/4-pound) lobsters
  • 1 pound soft-shell clams (steamers)
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 10 Littleneck clams
  • 8 small to medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 Spanish onions
  • Rockweed, optional
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 links linguica sausage
  • 1 can or bottle of your favorite beer
  • 1 large size generic brown paper bag
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, or spray can of canola oil

Wash all shellfish to get rid of sand and other grit, and reserve them in the refrigerator. Put the lobsters in the freezer to anesthetize them (no more than 20 minutes).  

To a pot of salted cold water (it should taste like the ocean), add the potatoes and whole onions. Bring to a boil, then cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the water and let cool, then quarter the onions. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil the paper bag inside and out, making sure all creases and folds are covered, and the paper absorbs the oil. 

Assemble the clambake: Place the rockweed inside the bottom of the bag. Place the lobsters on top of the rockweed, then arrange the shellfish on and around the lobsters. Add the corn, potatoes, onions, and linguica to the bag.  Pour the beer inside the bag, over all the ingredients.

Close the bag, place onto a baking sheet, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Pull the baking sheet from the oven and tear open the bag to serve.

Recipe courtesy of Rich Vellante