Foraging in & around the sea is a great pastime and spearfishing is amongst the best, if not the very best sustainable way to catch fish. There is no by-product, because we only take what we can eat and only spear fish that are edible & legal size. But this year’s weather has made it very difficult to get into the sea and then add in my poor spearfishing skills, I have only managed to bring home three bass this season!
So I decided to go back to a great local spot to increase my total, but after 2 hours of looking I hadn’t spotted a single bass! So out deeper to find some scallops and maybe a nice plaice. Half an hour later I had only found two scallops, now I was feeling chilly so time to head to shore! Swimming slowly over a reef a bass of around 3lb came swimming past, I shot and now I had a bass and two scallops for dinner!
I decided that a spicy pasta dish would go well with my fishy goodies, I just need a few clams which I collected in the shallows! On my way home I also stopped off to pick a bunch of marsh samphire that would add a colour & saltiness to the pasta.
My clams (plus a couple of rouge cockles!) I soaked in cold fresh water for about 4 hours rinsed well several times and scrubbed them clean, then rinsed again. I cooked them in 200ml white wine for two to three minutes; best to discard any that don’t open. I then removed them from the shells, leaving a few for garnish.
This is a good base pasta dish that you can use to create some wonderful fishy dishes, cooked with clams; or use prawns, crab or squid or even a combination. But if they are uncooked add to the sauce just before the pasta.
Clams with Linguine
- 1kg clams (or less if served with fish)
- 140g linguine
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 chillies finely sliced
- 2 shallots or one small onion, finely chopped
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree
- 200ml white wine (that you cooked your clams in)
- Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced basil leaves.
- Sea Salt & pepper
- Step 1 top-tip: to slice basil leaves, lay large leaves on top of each other, roll them tightly into a cigar shape and slice to thin ribbons.
- Step 2 Add to a large frying pan the garlic, chillies, onions, tomatoes and tomato puree, cook for two minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
- Step 3 Cook the pasta as instructed on the packet, drain and add to the pasta.
- Step 4 Tip in the parsley, wine and clams and stir, adding stock from the pasta to loosen the sauce if needed.
- Step 5 Scatter the sliced basil over the top and serve.