Friday, 28 August 2009

Friday night fish - clams

Ever since April, when Jude & I went to St John, I have been wanting to have a go at razorshell clams. And for quite some time now, Paul has been complaining that I never cook linguine vongole for him. A Friday night - when skillful sourcing is more appealling than elaborate cooking - seemed like the perfect time to pull out the clams for a very simple, quick but impressive meal.

To fend off hunger, I made a quick razorshell appetiser. I made salsa verde, roughly following a Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall recipe. I dolloped the salsa verde into the razorshells and stuck them under the grill for a couple of minutes. After fortifying ourselves with that, we had the strength to cook the pasta.

After draining the squid-ink fettucine, I fried a lot of sliced garlic in a good dollop of olive oil. I added some dried pasta seasoning (garlic, parsley and chilli flakes), the venus clams and the rest of the salsa verde. A good splash of white wine and then the drained pasta got a good shake around so that all the strands were coated in the herby juices.

12 comments:

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

What a meal! Brava! Looks delicious. I have never seen razorshell clams here, only on TV.

The Cat's Mother said...

Lovely. Where do the razorshell clams come from?

I'm planning to stretch Bill's palate this weekend with Sicilian spaghetti with sardines.

Foodycat said...

Natashya - I was so excited when I saw them in the flesh too!

Mother - I get them delivered by my fish people. I am not sure where they source them from, but I suspect Spain.

Debinhawaii said...

Fabulous meal! I have only had razorshell clams a couple of times and have never cooked with them. Both dishes look delicious.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Yum - everything sounds fantastic. I've always wanted to try squid ink pasta :D

Jude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jude said...

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtall catches his own razors in Dorset so I'm pretty sure you can get natives here.

Wing Yip in Cricklewood usually have them - not sure of their provenance

Foodycat said...

Deb - thanks!

Laura - it doesn't taste very different, but it looks pretty!

Jude - I've seen R. Stein catch natives in Cornwall, but the fact that the suppliers don't make a song & dance about them being British makes me think they aren't.

jodimop said...

I love those shells, but I recently discovered the bad way (i.e. swollen lips) that I am allergic to them! Ah well...

SHM said...

Love the razorshell clams, and I love linguine vongole! Yummy!

lapetitepipistrelle said...

Ah, that dish looks absolutely GORGEOUS, and knowing you I bet it tasted at least as good as it looks!

You're most likely right about the provenance—razorshell clams are especially popular in the south of Spain. You can get them fresh, in tins, or brined in jars. The best this batlet has eaten have been in Tarífa, a very windswept little seaside town. They were thrown on the grill with just lemon and olive oil and salt, oh so good with cold beer. A friend of mine had rather a rude nickname for them, I'll leave it to your imagination... or not, as you choose.

They're also popular on the East coast of the US. Updike has a wonderful line in the novel Couples in which the prurient protagonist eyes the long toes of his future mistress and observes that "her feet stank of razor clams" . Oh the pungency.

Foodycat said...

Jo - oh no! What a sad allergy to have!

SHM - thank you!

Pipistrelle - good heavens! Blast from the past! Grilled razorshells sounds just wonderful.

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