½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
½ cup basil leaves
¼ cup dill
¼ cup chervil zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 mild green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
150ml dry white wine
2kg cockles, or other shellfish, purged of sand and scrubbed
500g linguine pasta

Spaghetti vongole is one of the simple pleasures of fresh shellfish – steamed clams with a few additions, combined with pasta to give a salty, sweet taste of the ocean. Here I have built on this simplicity by stirring through a fresh herb paste.


1.Put the parsley, basil, dill, chervil, lemon zest and capers in a food processor and blend to a coarse paste, scraping down the sides to achieve an even consistency.
2.Slowly blend in the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
3.Heat the olive oil in a very large wide frying pan over a medium heat.
4.Add the garlic and chilli and fry for one minute then add the wine and bring to the boil.
5.Add the cockles and stir.
6.Cover and cook for 1 minute, then uncover and stir.
7.As the cockles start to open use tongs to remove them to a bowl.
8.Keep covering, cooking and removing until they are all open. Set aside.
9.Bring the remaining liquid to the boil and cook for a few minutes until reduced by about half.
10.While the sauce is reducing bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and salt well.
11.Cook the linguine until just under al dente (about 3 minutes less than the recommended cooking time) and drain.
12.Stir the pasta into the sauce and heat for a couple of minutes to finish off cooking, then stir in the lemon juice, herb paste and clams, toss well and leave to sit, covered and off the heat, for a few minutes.
13.Toss again before serving.

Recipes & Food Styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron Mclean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings

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