This is a favourite at our house. I actually didn’t think the kids would like them but they did! I only cooked dinner for two (what the recipe states) as the kids ate earlier but then ended up having a second dinner with us. The recipe is easily doubled.
I like a decent amount of clams so I go for 1kg for 2 people. Clam are a great sustainable seafood option in NZ, my local supermarket sells them and the good thing is that they have the harvest date on them. Mine were harvested 2 days before we ate them which was pretty good! It says on the the label how to store them and clean them. I actually prefer to soak them in cold fresh water for 20 minutes just before eating them so they spit out the sand and then I just give them a quick scrub.
Serves 2 - double if needed
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed/finely chopped
3 T olive oil - cleaned as above
pinch chilli flakes
1 kg fresh clams
zest of a lemon and juice to finish
half a cup of chopped Italian parsley
200-250g spaghetti or linguine
a knob of butter to finish (optional)
Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When you add the pasta in start the process below. If your pasta is ready before the clams are, don’t worry just drain it and set it aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and add the garlic and chilli flakes, you don’t want any colour on the garlic. When it’s just starting to go a little brown on the edges add in the clams and cover. Give them a shake every now and then. You can increase the heat to help them along. As the clams open remove them - this keeps them all perfectly tender. If there any they fail to open, discard them. I got rid of one.
Once they are all cooked, add in the cooked spaghetti, lemon zest, clams, butter and parsley and stir to coat. Add in the lemon juice to taste. I added a little more that one lemon as I find the lemon juice balances out the saltiness of the clams.
Serve immediately. Sometimes we eat this with a big green salad and sometimes we don’t!