Thursday, February 18, 2010

Variations on a theme

Still craving seafood, so when I saw cockles (NZ little-necked clams) at the supermarket this week it was hard to resist!  As I made this, I realised how similar this recipe is to the mussel recipe I posted last week.  Once you know a few basic techniques, and understand flavours, you can mix and match pretty easily.. as I did here to make a quick seafood pasta:
The main difference between mussels and clams is that the latter have a tendency to hold sand.  Rest in a bucket of cold water while you prep, to encourage them to spit some of it out! (not as important if they've been sitting in the spray bin at the supermarket).  This also means you don't really want to use the cooking fluid as your sauce, unless you like a lot of texture (and personally, I gave up eating sand as a toddler!).
Steam the clams in a saucepan with a little white wine (NZ sauvignon blanc is beautiful with shellfish), using the same technique as for the mussels, but keep an eye on them as they'll open much faster.
I usually multi-task, and at the same time boil pasta and brown terakihi fillets to pad out the dish!
Yes, I left the stalks on the onions and the dirt on the garlic so you'd notice they were home-grown!
In a separate pan, soften half an onion (finely diced) and a clove of garlic (crushed).  Add cream, grated parmesan, and the zest and juice of one lemon.
Add about a cup of peas (frozen), and a few handfuls of shop-bought pasta (I used spinach and ricotta), and the terakihi.  Shell the clams into the sauce (save a couple of shells if you are taking photos, or trying to look fancy).  Decant a little of the cooking fluid to thin and flavour the sauce (just try and leave the sand behind!)  Stir it all up, and voila:
The hard work is in the multi-tasking.  Otherwise, this is so easy it should be cheating.

This post was entered into the "Grow Your Own" roundup, created by Andrea's Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie

1 comment:

  1. That is certainly a tasty looking meal!

    Since you are using homegrown onions and garlic, would you like to enter this post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full Details at