Vongole in Porchetta

Clams with Herbs and Wine

For this quintessential Ligurian starter, you can use any small molluscs – even cockles and winkles – or small mussels. The most important thing is that they should be absolutely fresh.

Ingredients

  • 1.8 kg (4 lb) small clams or other small molluscs
  • a handful of fresh fennel or dill
  • a large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ glass, about 60 ml (2 fl oz), dry white wine
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste, diluted in 60 ml (2 fl oz) warm water

Method

Clean and wash all the molluscs very carefully. Chop the fennel or dill. Remove all the leaves from the rosemary and chop them.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and herbs and fry for 2 minutes, then add the clams and season very generously. Pour over the wine and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes to evaporate all the alcohol.

Add the diluted tomato purée, stir and cook for as long as it takes to cook the seafood through – certainly no more than 5 minutes. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

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