25 Min Total
Preparation 10 min
Cooking 15 min
Serves 2 (4 as a starter)
This is the perfect quick dinner for a special night. I know clams are easy to come by in most supermarkets now, but I still get really excited about cooking them. They will always remind me of family holidays to the south of France when I was little and I would spend hours picking the lovely juicy meat out of the tiny shells. My top tip is to always buy more clams than you think you’re going to eat because, trust me, you’ll want to go back for more.
2 tablespoons olive oil
150g smoked bacon rashers or smoked pancetta, chopped into fine strips
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
1/4teaspoon chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
125ml double cream
2kg cleaned clams
125ml vermouth or dry white wine freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle crusty bread
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the bacon, shallots, chilli flakes and bay leaf. Sweat them gently for 4–5 minutes, until soft, before adding the garlic and the butter. Allow the butter to melt before adding the double cream.
- Increase the heat and allow the cream to boil for 2 minutes, then add the clams and Vermouth or white wine. Season well with pepper
- Let the clams cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan hard halfway through. Once all the clams are open, serve straight away with a wedge of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a big chunk of toasted bread to soak up all the juices.
NB: Try serving with White Crab and Green Apple Cocktail to start or follow with Almond Hazelnut and Vanilla Biscuits. (see Sophie’s book ‘Home at 7, Dinner at 8’)
Adapted from Home at 7, Dinner at 8 by Sophie Wright.