How to make the perfect clam pasta
CLAMS are popular now in restaurants. They are also becoming easy to find in your local fish shop as there are many companies putting out live bagged clams that simply need to be cooked. For cooks and chefs, this makes it easy to throw together a delicious pasta sauce or side dish without having to do the cleaning, purging etc.
Clams with zucchini, cherry tomatoes
and white wine
INGREDIENTS: ¼ cup olive oil 2 green zucchini sliced into rounds 1kg clams 1 cup good quality white wine like sauvignon blanc/ semillon 1 tbs olive oil extra 3 cloves of garlic, sliced 100g cherry tomatoes Handful of flat leaf parsley leaves zest of 1 lemon Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frypan over a moderate temperature and fry the zucchini slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Sit aside on paper towels.
Into the same pan add in the clams, pour in the wine and cook as directed on the packet or until all of the clams start to open. I usually cover them with a lid peeking in to see when they start to open. Turn off the heat and scoop out the clams reserving the remaining liquid. Allow the clams to cool before removing the meat, discard the shells and strain the remaining liquid through a fine strainer.
Add the extra olive oil to the pan and fry the garlic for 1 minute, add in the cherry tomatoes and about ¾ cup of the clam cooking liquid, this is going to make the sauce. When the sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until reduced by about half. Add in some more of the clam stock if the sauce starts to dry out or thicken too much.
Place the fried zucchini, and clams into the pan tossing them gently to cover with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, toss in the parsley and the lemon zest and serve with pasta, crusty bread or as a side dish.