If you don’t like shell fish, look away now! This morning, instead of our usual mussels, in fact as well as our usual mussels, I bought some clovisses, small clams. It always amazes me how different and how pretty the shells are, so I took quite a few photos:
Enough pretty pictures – what did I do with them? I thought of spaghetti alle vongole and made a version of this classic Italian dish but with fideua, Spanish vermicelli pasta, instead of spaghetti.
I cleaned and cooked the clams (half a kilo for two servings) in a wide deep pan in some olive oil and their own juices until all the shells had opened. While these were cooking I boiled 150 grams of fideo (you could use spaghetti or other thin strands of pasta) in a litre and a half of salted water until it was al dente – just cooked with a little ‘bite’ to it.
I drained the cooked clams (keeping the liquid in case I needed to add it to the sauce later), heated two chopped cloves of garlic, some chopped oregano and two teaspoons of tomato purée in a little olive oil in the pan, added a glass of white wine, returned the clams to the pan and brought it all the the boil. After a couple of minutes I stirred in the cooked fideo and it was ready to eat, with a slice of lemon and a glass of wine. The pasta soaks up a lot of liquid, so you can add some of the cooking liquid from the clams as well as the sauce.
It’s not possible to eat this dish politely, you have to pick up the shells, bite out the clams and suck the sauce from them, as you eat the pasta with a fork. It was wonderful! And then there were the empties: