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Spaghetti and Clams

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Serves: 4

1kg / 2 lb 4 oz live clams, scrubbed under cold running water*
175ml / 6 fl oz water
175ml / 6 fl oz dry white wine
salt and pepper
350g / 12 oz dried spaghetti
5 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

* Discard any clams with broken or damaged shells and any that do not shut when sharply tapped


Place the clams in a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the water and wine, cover and cook over a high heat, shaking the saucepan occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the shells have opened.

Remove the clams with a slotted spoon and cool slightly. Strain the cooking liquid into a small saucepan through a sieve lined with muslin. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced by about half, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, discard any clams with damaged shells or that have not opened, then remove the remainder from their shells and reserve until required.

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and the reduced clam cooking liquid and simmer gently.

Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with the clams. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes, or until the pasta is coated and the clams have heated through. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

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