This recipe first appeared in the Guardian on 20.09.10,
see article above - holiday memories.
This dish is based on what I was shown by Andy Needham at
Zafferano in London. It takes time to prepare properly but
is very quick to serve. The sea bass
stock can be made the day before. The
sea bass fillets are gorgeous seared for supper, especially if drizzled with
some of the Ligurian olive oil, lemon juice and sliced olives.
To make the stock, ask the fishmonger to fillet two small
sea bass. Wash the bones to rid them of blood and place in a non-corrosive
saucepan with the any trimmings from the fillets, one onion, halved, the outer
two layers of fennel, one stick celery, one bay leaf and two black
peppercorns. Cover with about two litres
water, bring up to the boil and skim thoroughly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30
minutes, then strain and chill. Reserve 300ml and freeze the rest.
Serves 2 as a main course
Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, such as Vittorio Cassini
Ĺ (half) head garlic + 2 fat cloves finely chopped
2 strips finely pared orange zest
1-2 red chillies (according to taste) seeded and finely
150ml dry white wine
ľ (quarter) supermarket bunch of thyme, washed
250g quick cooking linguine such as Voiello n.111 or
Giuseppe Cocco, n.34
300ml sea bass fish stock (see above)
1 tablespoon chilli oil, optional
a handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 Clean the clams
thoroughly as they hold a lot of sand.
Place them in the kitchen sink and cover with cold running water and a
good handful of salt. Swirl vigorously
and leave for five minutes, then drain.
Repeat twice more then leave under cold running water for a further few
minutes. Discard any that donít close
when tapped. Drain the rest in a
2 Cut your garlic
head in half so that it forms two rounds. Cut one round in half again and wrap
up the other half. Set two of the widest
pans you have over a high heat. Once
they are very hot, add a tablespoon or two of Ligurian olive oil in each and
divide the clams between the two pans.
Stir fry briskly for a few seconds then divide the thyme, garlic, orange
peel and half the chilli between each pan.
Continue to fry briskly, turning the mixture regularly for 30 seconds,
then divide the wine between each pan and cover both. As soon as the clams have opened tip the
contents of each pan into a single roasting dish, spreading them out to cool
quickly. Donít overcook or they will
3 Quickly remove
the flesh from most of the clams. Discard the shells and any clams that havenít
opened. You can set aside a few in their
shells as a garnish, if wished. Strain
the juice from the roasting tray though a clean damp J-cloth or piece of muslin
into a separate bowl. If not eating
soon, cover and chill both the clams and their juice.
4 When you are
nearly ready to bring a large pan of water to the boil. Finely chop two fat cloves of garlic and mix
in two tablespoons olive oil. Finely
slice the remaining chilli (or less, if you want). If you donít have any chilli oil, save some
of the seeds for extra heat.
5 Drop the pasta into the boiling water Ė it
will take about two and half to three minutes.
After a minute, set a wide sautť (or frying) pan over a medium low
heat. Add about six tablespoons of the
olive oil followed by the garlic in oil and the chilli. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, but before
it colours, add the fish stock. Bring up
to the boil.