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Clams basquaise


This recipe is one from Allegra McEvedy, writing in the Guardian. I prefer to make a ratatouille in the oven (without the aubergines) transfer to a saucepan and then add the clams. It's a good dish to make with leftover ratatouille, actually. Her stuffed tomatoes, however, are superb as they are.


Serves 4 as a main course


For the clams

One portion of ratatouille, for four people (without the aubergine)

200ml red wine

500g live clams


For the tomatoes

4 large tomatoes

100g chorizo, diced

zest of half a lemon

a bunch of flat-leaf parsley

a small white bread roll


Preheat the oven to 200°.


Tear the bread into little pieces and put into a bowl with a sieve above it. Slice the tops off the tomatoes, scoop out the insides and dump them in the sieve so the juices from the tomato insides trickle down and make the bread soggy. You might also want to slice a tiny sliver from the bottom of the tomatoes so they sit upright without lurching over drunkenly and spilling their stuffing later on.


Chop the parsley roughly and add it to the bread, along with the lemon zest and chorizo. Mix thoroughly, and chop and add some of the tomato innards if you think the mix is a bit dry. Stuff into the tomatoes, replace the tops, put onto a baking tray and bake for about half an hour.


Whilst the tomatoes are cooking, mix the ratatouille with the red wine in a deep pan large enough to hold the clams as well. Bring to boil, then turn down the heat and keep at a gentle simmer, uncovered.


Wash and pick over the clams, discarding any with broken shells, or that don't close tightly when tapped on the side of the sink.


When the tomatoes are just about cooked, tip the clams into the ratatouille, put a lid on and cook for about two minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the clams have opened. Serve with the tomatoes.


If I'm serving informally (i.e. - not at Thyme Supperclub, but to family or friends), I leave everyone to remove the clams from the shells themselves at the table, and provide a finger bowl. For Thyme Supperclub events, I remove them myself in the kitchen mixing the shelled clams back into the ratatouille and just leave a few in their shells for decoration.


Whichever you do, always remember to discard any clams that haven't opened after cooking.

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