Zuppa Alla Vongole à la River Café

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From my ultimate heroine, Rose Gray, this recipe is more like a quick lunchtime fish stew than a soup. It’s a dish full of steaming clams from the high seas.

Ingredients

  • 2kg/lb small clams, washed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 dried red chillies, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bottle of dry white Italian wine
  • 12 small slices of sourdough bread

Method

Check over the clams, discarding any that are already open and don’t close when tapped. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add the garlic, chillies, and half the parsley and cook for a few minutes.

Add the wine, bring to the boil and cook for a minute, then add the clams. Stir well, coating the clams in the hot wine, then cover and cook over a high heat for 2—3 minutes. Discard any clams that remain closed.

Toast or grill your slices of bread and arrange them around the edge of a round or oval dish. With a slotted spoon, remove the clams from the pan and put them into the bottom of the dish. Boil the liquid in the pan for a few minutes, until reduced, then pour it over the clams. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

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