Almejas a la marinera can translate as ‘sailor’s clams’ but, for some reason, we didn’t sell that many when we first described them that way on the menu. They are in fact juicy little clams sitting in a rich, smooth sauce of peas and a little butter, which is sharpened with a splash of dry white wine.
Almejas a la marinera can also be used as a sauce to pour over a large pan-fried fish. Cook the fish in a frying pan for a few minutes each side then bake in a 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) oven for 8–10 minutes. Finally pour this lovely sauce over the top. That said, almejas a la marinera is just as good on its own.
Soak the clams in cold water for 2 hours to remove the grit from inside the shells, changing the water several times. Drain well.
Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan over low–medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Increase the heat to high, add the clams and wine and toss in the pan for 1 minute. Bring to the boil then add the fish stock. Cover and return to the boil. Once boiling remove the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Take out the clams that have opened and put in a bowl. Cover with foil and set aside. Continue simmering for a few minutes and remove the rest of the clams as they open. Remove and discard any clams that haven’t opened within 6 minutes of boiling. Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking the stock for 2–3 minutes until it has reduced by half.
Add the peas and half the parsley, cover the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, stirring continuously for a few minutes to emulsify and thicken the sauce. Once the butter has combined with the sauce, remove from the heat. Return the clams to the pan, cover and rest for 30 seconds, stirring a few times. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining parsley.
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.