Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

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.

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