Throughout autumn and winter, the clam is the star shellfish on our plates. While it's always a joy to eat the marvellous mollusc when dining out, have you ever tried cleaning and cooking these versatile and delicious shellfish at home?
It's not as challenging as it might seem, especially with our step-by-step guide on how to eat clams at home.
How to Clean Clams?
Whether you've caught the clams yourself or bought them from the fishmonger, one of the most important steps before cooking is to first clean them thoroughly. To do this:
Pour the shells into a large bowl of cold water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. Then remove the shells from the basin - not the reverse! If you pour the water and leave the shells in the basin, the sand will likely remain.
Remove the water from the basin, rinse and refill with clean water before replacing the shells. Repeat as many times as necessary.
How to Eat Clams?
There are a variety of ways to prepare the tasty shells, but here is one of the simplest and most delicious.
1 kg of clams
1 sprig of parsley
10 gr of butter
100 ml of dry white wine
To prepare the shells, start by mincing the shallot and washing the parsley. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, add the chopped shallot, parsley, pepper and leave to color for a minute. Add the white wine, the washed shells and cover.
Simmer for about 4 minutes until the shells open. If some are not open, do not hesitate to stir them to bathe them well in the white wine.
Remove the shells with a skimmer and remove shellfish from the shells. You can preserve the cooking juice to make a sauce. Never salt the shells, as it renders them inedible.
Clams can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked or fried. They can also be made into clam chowder or they can be cooked using hot rocks and seaweed in a New England clam bake.
How to Cook Clams in Recipes
If you want to get stuck into your clams straight away try these recipes below, from the simple to the chef inspired.
The classic Italian way of eating clams is "spaghetti alle vongole" a popular light pasta seafood dish that appears on many menus around the country.
Clams can also be the star of the show in chef inspired dishes - like this exciting recipe with puntarelle and grapefruit.
Or, keep it simple with this tasty Italian macaroni dish with artichokes and be transported to Rome.