This might seem like an odd pairing, porcini and clam, but true to the Italian phrase 'mare e monti' (sea and land) they come together in style!

Serves
4

Preparation

15min

Cooking

20min

Skill level

Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 400 g (14 oz) clams in the shell, cleaned
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
  • 300 g (10½ oz) fresh porcini mushrooms (or 50 g/1¾ oz dried porcini)
  • 350 g (12½ oz) tagliatelle
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Serves 4 as a starter.

  1. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large frying pan with a lid over medium–high heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the cleaned clams and the wine, and then cover and cook for about 1 minute, shaking the pan every 30 seconds or so. Remove the open shells and set aside. Replace the lid and cook the remaining clams for another 30 seconds, then check again for open shells and remove those that have opened. Repeat a few more times, then discard any unopened shells after 5 minutes.
  2. Let the liquid left in the pan cool, then strain it through a fine sieve, removing the garlic clove and any sand. Return the liquid to the pan and set aside.
  3. Remove the clams from the opened shells, discarding the empty shells. You could also keep the clams on the shells and serve them that way, though there’s a good chance there will still be a little sand remaining.
  4. If you are using fresh porcini, wipe them clean with a paper towel and remove the base of the stalk and any bruised sections. Cut the mushrooms into 3–4 mm (¹⁄8 in) thick slices. If you are using dried porcini, soak them in hot (not boiling) water for about 10 minutes. Discard the water as it will be too strong to add to the sauce. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces just before cooking.
  5. Return the strained cooking liquid to low heat, add the fresh or dried porcini and simmer until tender. The fresh ones will need 10–15 minutes; the dried ones will only take about 5 minutes.
  6. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil (remember that the clams will be quite salty so add less salt than you usually would). Cook the tagliatelle until nearly al dente – it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, add the clams to the porcini mixture and warm through. Use tongs to drop the cooked pasta into the pan, stirring to coat well in the sauce and adding a little pasta cooking water if it looks dry. Cook for another minute or so, then divide among warmed bowls or plates, scatter with parsley and serve.

 

Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00