Have you got plans for the weekend yet? No? Right, get your pencil ready and write this list:
squid ink spaghetti (or just great pasta)
the best chorizo you can find
lots of lovely fresh clams
drinkable dry white wine (some for the pot & the rest for you)
and then make this. Do! I promise you won’t regret it.
This dish is perfect for an Autumn Saturday. It is speedy and it is so flavoursome. The chorizo gives the gorgeous briney clams a rich lightly spiced depth, the chorizo itself the colour of Autumn leaves. The squid ink noodles make it all very deep and rich (predominantly visually). It is speedy. The whole thing will be ready start to finish in 15 – 20 minutes. And you will want more, so prepare to have enough for seconds. You might even think of sharing it, with someone you like very much. Maybe.
Clams seem complicated but they are the easiest thing to cook, and the flavours are perfect, especially when you have the rumble of chorizo and the finely chopped parsley to keep it all in line. White wine helps make a gorgeous sauce with the garlic and the sea water released from the clams. And all you are doing is heating them until they cook and release the tight catch on their shells. The sauce coats the pasta beautifully and it is all so very good.
If you have never cooked with clams before do try this, and let me know how you get on with it. And don’t worry about it being fishy. This is light and briney and like getting a delicious splash of sea water on a seaside frolic.
Recipe: Spaghetti with Clams & Chorizo
200g squid ink pasta (I uses tonnarelli al nero di seppia from Rustichella d’Abruzzo) or good spaghetti or linguine will do well too
500g clams, fresh and in the shell
100g diced chorizo (fresh or cured)
A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped very fine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small glass of white wine
a little light oil or extra virgin olive oil for cooking
sea salt (if necessary)
Soak the clams for up to an hour in room temperature water to remove any grit. Rinse thoroughly and remove any open shells that don’t close again when you tap them (they are dead and not good to eat).
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and while it is cooking heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying or sauté pan with a lid over a medium/high heat. Cook the chorizo until releasing its oils, then add the garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the clams and the wine and stir through. Allow the wine to reduce by half over a few minutes, then put the lid on and allow to cook for a few minutes until the shells have opened and the clams are cooked. Stir again. This should time nicely with the pasta being ready.
Drain the pasta when done and add to the clams with the parsley. Toss so that the pasta is covered with the lovely sauce and season with salt if necessary (it will likely be salty enough)>