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Clams and mussels in crazy water

You'll need

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground 1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped 1½ tsp fine sea salt 400 ml dry white wine 500 gm clams (vongole), soaked in salted water for 1 hour, rinsed well 1 kg mussels, scrubbed, bearded and rinsed 2 tbsp aged red wine vinegar To serve: toasted sourdough bread, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil


  • 01
  • Place garlic, fennel seeds and parsley in a mortar, and, using a pestle, pound to a fine paste.
  • 02
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy-based casserole, add garlic paste and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add chilli, tomatoes, sea salt and wine and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Add clams and mussels and cook, covered, for another 5-8 minutes or until shellfish just open, stir in vinegar and season to taste. Serve immediately, with toast passed separately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Full-bodied white from Soave or viognier from Eden Valley.

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