This dish is a vegetable packed take on the traditional spaghetti vongole. I’ve used sea greens for their saltiness and crunchy texture and courgetti as a quick alternative to pasta.
When buying clams, save time and ask the fish monger to scrub them for you, this way you just need to give them a quick rinse before cooking. Make sure to discard any clams that remain closed after cooking as these may be bad.
500g fresh clams
A handful of mixed sea greens (or just samphire will do)
1 bulb of fennel
1 courgette, spiralised
A handful of baby vine tomatoes
1 small clove of garlic
A large knob of salted butter
The juice of half a lemon
A splash of white wine
A handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
Cracked black pepper
Spiralise the courgette into a bowl and set aside. If you don’t have a spiraliser you can use a peeler to make ribbons.
Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to finely slice the fennel and place in a bowl with the sea greens and the finely sliced baby vine tomatoes – these also work with the mandoline.
Wash and roughly chop the parsley and grate the garlic into a paste and set aside.
Gently tap each clam on your work surface or carefully poke them with a blunt knife to make sure that they close up. If any don’t close tightly after a few taps or a poke, they’re probably dead and not worth risking so chuck them away.
Now heat a large, deep pan and melt a generous knob of butter with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of white wine. Add in the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes before tipping in the clams and covering with a lid. Give the pan a good shake every few minutes.
Once all the clams have opened, you can add in all of the vegetables and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, depending on how al dente you like them.
Plate up immediately and garnish generously with parsley, a squeeze more lemon and some black pepper.