This is a relatively simple but truly beautiful pasta dish. Given the fantastic quality of the shellfish lately, we can’t get enough of it. We tried out several ways of making this and chose the method that produced the thickest and most flavoursome sauce. The key: sauté the cherry tomatoes for a bit until they start to break down and become the basis for the thicker sauce.

We picked up our clams from Furness Fish at Borough Market – they sell wonderfully fresh Palourde clams, which are great for this dish. They’re delicious, have beautiful, marbled shells and are perfect for steaming.

Ingredients

  • 1kg fresh clams (3-4 handfuls)
  • 500g linguine
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 25g fresh parsley
  • 200ml white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 75ml olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
 

Method

  1. Rinse clams and scrub off any debris. Discard any partially opened ones that do not close as soon as you tap them. Set aside in a colander to drip dry
  2. Peel and crush the garlic and rinse the tomatoes, remove stalks and chop parsley. Set aside
  3. In a large pan, bring some salty water to the boil for the pasta. If using dry (which cooks in 10-12 minutes), put pasta on when heating the oil and garlic. If using fresh linguine (which cooks in 2-4 minutes), be ready to put the pasta in at the same time as you put the clams in the sauce (see below)
  4. In a large sauté pan or casserole, gently heat the oil and garlic for about 2 minutes
  5. Add the cherry tomatoes and chilli flakes. Sauté over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down
  6. Add the clams, parsley and white wine to the tomatoes, turn up the heat to medium-high and cover for 3-4 minutes until the clams have opened, stirring occasionally
  7. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately with a plate on the side for shells

BK Tips

  • Fully prep everything first before you start cooking as it all gets put together rather quickly
  • We normally love using fresh pasta but for this dish we prefer dry. We found it held the sauce better
  • For the wine in the sauce - "if you won't drink it, don't cook with it", as one of our good customers always reminds us. We certainly found it to be true here