Seafood spaghetti with clams and mussels

Posted on by Beyond Bespoke

It’s all too easy to forget about shellfish, but it makes one of the easiest and most glamorous instant suppers imaginable. Small and delicately flavoured by the sea, clams have their own special appeal, good quality ones are often to be found in the freezer section of supermarkets. Don’t discount mussels, though, fresh ones are more accessible still, and local to our shores. The key is to wash them thoroughly, always under cold running water, pulling their beards off as you go. If they don’t close during this process, discard them. Once cooked, healthy ones will open, any that remain closed should be discarded too

Feeds 4

400g spaghetti

3 tablespoons olive oil

25g butter

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small red chilli, very finely sliced

1.5kg clams or mussels, or a mixture

150ml white wine

Handful flat-leafed parsley, chopped

Sea salt and pepper

Cook the spaghetti. Meanwhile, in a large, lidded saucepan, warm the olive oil and butter and fry the garlic and chilli together for a couple of minutes. Add the shellfish and wine, cover and allow to steam for about 3 minutes, shaking from time to time to prevent sticking.

Drain the spaghetti when it is cooked and toss with the shellfish, sprinkling over the parsley and seasoning to taste. I like Parmesan with it, though purists will shudder.

Joanna Weinberg has written cookery columns for The Times, Red and currently Conde Nast Traveller. She runs Kitchen Table Cookery School at The Talbot Inn, Mells, Somerset

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