The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD -

Spe­cial­ity food stores are most likely the best spots to track down ’ nduja, and it is worth the ef­fort. When pre­par­ing clams, tap open ones against a work sur­face and dis­card any that don’t close, or have cracked shells. Leave to sit in a bowl of cold, salted wa­ter for at least 20 min­utes be­fore cook­ing to purge any sand or grit that re­mains.

500g clams 100g ’ nduja 1 tbsp rape­seed oil small knob of but­ter 1 large shal­lot, finely chopped 200ml cider or dry white wine 3 tbsp dou­ble cream A good hand­ful flat leaf pars­ley, finely chopped For the tomato toasts: 4 slices sour­dough bread, toasted 1 clove gar­lic, peeled 1 ripe beef tomato, sliced in half 150g ’ nduja Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil Sea salt

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the ’ nduja, bro­ken into small chunks, and the oil. Fry un­til golden and the red oils are re­leased. Add the but­ter, shal­lot and gar­lic and fry for two to three min­utes, un­til the shal­lot is ten­der. Pour in the cider or wine and bring to the boil. Dis­card any clams with bro­ken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped. Add the clams to the cook­ing liquor, cover with a lid, and al­low to steam for four to five min­utes, or un­til the shells open com­pletely, shak­ing once or twice dur­ing cook­ing. Once cooked, us­ing a slot­ted spoon, trans­fer the clams to a bowl. Stir the cream and pars­ley into the pot and sea­son. Pour the cook­ing juices over the clams to serve.

Brush each sour­dough toast with the gar­lic clove, rub vig­or­ously with the ex­posed tomato halves and spread with ’ nduja. Driz­zle gen­er­ously with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and sea­son with salt. Serve the clams with the tomato toasts to mop up the sauce.

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