Linguine with Clams, Fennel and Chilli
A wee twist on one of my all time favourite Venetian classics; ‘Spaghetti Vongole.’ Minimal effort and maximum taste; this recipe will take the best part of 15 minutes to prepare and cook making it an ideal dinner party dish.
As part of my #ShopLocalJanuary drive, I visited Wilson’s Catch of the Day in the Finnieston area of Glasgow and picked up a bag of beautiful fresh clams. If you haven’t yet visited Wilson’s, they have a fantastic selection of fresh fish, shellfish, poultry, game and other seasonal produce. The staff were very knowledgable and extremely helpful in advising how best to prepare and cook the shellfish.
Clams are in season just now so you should find them in most well-stocked fishmongers. They require very little preparation, just make sure that you remove any grit under a cold running tap and that all shells are closed (or shut tightly when tapped).
400g fresh clams in shells (I used the Poulardes variety which are in season)
Handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 dried chilli, seeds removed and sliced
1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
150ml white wine
Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook linguine according to packet instructions or till al dente.
Rinse the clams in cold water, discard any shells which appear damaged or are not closed.
Cover the cherry tomatoes with boiling water for 1-2 mins. Drain and remove the skins before chopping roughly.
Heat 2 tbsp evoo in a shallow pan and sauté the fennel till tender. Add the garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for another minute.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, add the clams, wine and cover with a lid for around 4 minutes (or until all clam shells have opened).
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the chopped parsley. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.