ALMEJAS CON AZAFRAN — SAFFRON CLAMS
Serves 6-8 as part of a selection of tapas, or two as a main course.
You will need: 1kg (2 ¼ lbs) clams in shells 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 pinch saffron ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika 50ml (2fl oz) sweet sherry, such as fino 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley Crusty white bread, to serve
First check that the clams are all closed — discard any that stay open when they are tapped on a work surface. To clean the clams, put them in a bowl of cold water and let them soak for half an hour. This should help get rid of some of the sand, if there is any, as it will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat, then add the finely chopped onion and the finely chopped garlic and cook them for about 4 minutes until they are light and golden. Add the pinch of saffron, the smoked paprika, the sweet sherry, the tomato paste, the roughly chopped fresh parsley and the drained clams.
Mix everything together, then cover the pan with a lid, and cook over a medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes until all the clams have completely opened (discard any that haven’t opened). Tip the saffron clams into serving bowls and mop up the juices with the crusty white bread.