Too much travelling the last few months, too little cooking. We just finished a lovely week off the Tuscan coast with friends. I am recovering from food poisoning (never again samosas in Dar es Salaam…..) so ate little and cooked less, but this dish went down well.
Italy is also in the grip of the heatwave named Lucifer. HOT here!
Same island every year, always wonderful. It seemed a bit quiet this year, the Italian economy must still be down.
But we had a great week! Fresh fish and seafood from the fish truck, shouting Pesce Fresco each morning.
Vongole with leeks and cannelini
Bag of vongole (small clams)
Three cloves of garlic
Two leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
One medium tin of cannelini beans or other beans
Generous handful parsley, chopped
Two tbs olive oil
Splash of white wine or water, half a lemon if you have one
Toast or crusty bread to serve
Cataplana debut! I bought this in Lisbon in June, took it back to Accra, but decided this holiday was a good time to try it. Special pan for steaming shellfish, it clamps shut like a low level pressure cooker and worked really well.
First: soak clams in water in sink for half an hour, removing any damaged ones or ones that do not close.
Hear pan with a little oil and white wine or water, tip in handful of clams and steam 4-5 minutes with lid on. You will hear clams pop open. With a slotted spoon fish out done clams and do next batch, I did this in three batches so they were not crowded.
Leaving liquid in pan, add sliced leeks and garlic and cook 2 or 3 minutes while you de-shell clams and remove any that did not open. Optional step, we were waiting for a lunch guest. Then add drained beans, chopped parsley and clams and heat briefly through. Maybe half a lemon squeezed over? Serve with toast or crusty bread.