Vongole! How tasty! Nothing beats fresh clams.
They have such a fantastic flavour of the sea and they can make a simple pasta dish taste fabulous.
They are ever so easy to prepare. They do not need much cleaning and all you need to do is just soak them in salty water for an hour or longer so they will release any sand they might retain.
You can also enjoy them cooked on their own in a pan and then their flavourful juices can be mopped up with some crusty bread.
Buy your fresh clams. The shells should be closed and not broken. If a clam is open, it should close when you tap it. If it does not close, it is probably dead and should not be eaten. When buying the clams, tell the person behind the counter that you want him to hand-pick only closed clams.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 5 minutes
Rinse the clams and immerse them in salty cold water for at least an hour. This will help remove the sand. Then rinse them off in a colander under the tap.
In a large frying pan stir fry the garlic cloves and the finely chopped onion with 2 tbsp of olive oil, then add the clams with a dash of white wine, the lemon zest and chopped parsley or wild fennel. Cook with the lid on until all the clams are open. This will take about 5 minutes or longer depending on how big your clams are.
Now check the clams and discard any whose shell is broken or any unopened ones and with a slotted spoon strain the juice they have released through a fine cloth or with a meshed strainer; pour again the clam's juice into the pan and add the clams.
Stir well, drizzle with olive oil and mop up the juices with some rustic bread.