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, finely sliced
1 courgette, spiralised
A handful of baby vine tomatoes, sliced or quartered
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
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 chopped baby vine tomatoes.
Wash and roughly chop the parsley, crush the garlic and set both 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 melt a generous knob of butter in a large, deep pan with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of white wine. Add in the crushed 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 (around 5 mins), you can add in all of the vegetables and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, depending on how al dente you like them.
Garnish generously with parsley, a squeeze more lemon and some black pepper.