CRAYFISH & CLAM LINGUINE
I have always enjoyed putting combinations together that are kind of yin and yang price-wise. It’s a way of serving something special while not blowing the budget, as the cheaper main ingredient helps stretch the more expensive product. Truth be known, while clams are considered by many as a little way down the sliding seafood scale, I will always go in to bat for these delicious molluscs, which not only offer up a great little chew but make their own incredible stock for a dish. By all means, instead of crayfish try other seafood with the clams such as prawns, scampi or lovely chunks of fresh sautéed fish. My advice is to get everything prepped and ready to go before you begin, as it needs to all come together pretty quickly.
1 x 454g packet dried linguine
⅓ cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 2 tablespoons finely diced garlic
2 chillies, finely sliced, or a pinch of dried chilli flakes 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon rind ⅓ cup roughly chopped capers
36 littleneck clams (cockles or similar)
½ cup (125ml) white wine
2 cooked crayfish, meat picked and roughly chopped ½ cup (15g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
25g butter freshly ground black pepper warm crusty bread, to serve lemon halves, to serve
Fill your largest saucepan with salted water and place over high heat. Bring up to the boil. Add a splash of olive oil to the water, along with the pasta. Stir to begin with to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
Place another large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, garlic, chillies, preserved lemon and capers. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the clams, along with the white wine. Place the lid on the pan, allow to simmer for 2–3 minutes, then give the pan a shake. Once the clams begin to open, turn off the heat, but keep the lid on.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the clams. Stir through to combine. Now stir in the crayfish, parsley and butter.
Divvy up into warm bowls, pouring some of the cooking liquid over each bowl. Finish with a liberal grind of fresh black pepper and a glug of olive oil. Serve with warm crusty bread and lemons on the side for squeezing. Eat now.
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