Fast Recipes

Clams and mussels in crazy water

Australian Gourmet Traveller fast recipe for clams and mussels in crazy water

By Robert Castellani
  • Serves 6
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Clams and mussels in crazy water


  • 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


  • 1
    Place garlic, fennel seeds and parsley in a mortar, and, using a pestle, pound to a fine paste.
  • 2
    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.


Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied white from Soave or viognier from Eden Valley. Drink suggestion by Andy Harris