Pasta with clams is probably my all times favourite pasta. I think the first time I cooked it was when we stayed at a friend's villa in Agropoli, Italy. It was from the same day catch, very fresh and tasty. Alas, as we don't live by the sea, the clams that we get here are never as fresh as those little beauties from the Tyrrhenian sea. I was standing by the fish counter in Waitrose the other day, pondering over what I fancied for dinner, and decided pasta with clams would do nicely. Then I noticed a solitary pack of the sea beet, which I haven't seen in the shops before, and that went into my shopping basket as well. And thus that evening we had pasta with clams and the sea beet for dinner.
Pasta with clams and sea beet (for 2)
200g dry spaghetti
a pack of sea beet (see the photo below, not sure about the weight)
a glass of white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
a handful of black olives
sea salt, pepper
Fry the finely sliced onion and garlic with the olive oil in a deep frying pan or wok, until translucent. Add the clams, pour the white wine, add the olives and cook under the lid until all the clams are open (discard those which didn't open). Season well. Add the chopped sea beet or parsley and cook for another few minutes until the sea beet is wilted.
Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the water and toss the past in the pan with the clams.
What exactly is the sea beet (Beta vulgaris maritima)? This plant grows wild along the coastline of the UK, you might have seen it aplenty without realising that it is edible. I have recenly come across the foraging blog Down to Earth. Bushcraft.com, and if you fancy to find out more about this plant and what to cook with it, I recommend visiting it. What does it taste like? It is a bit of a cross between the spinach and beet leaves.
You don't have to add the sea beet, of course, if you cannot find any. A big bunch of flat leaf parsley would be wonderful as well.
Adding my recipe to lovely inspiring Verily Victoria Vocalises blog linky #PoCoLo.