Vongole allo Zenzero
Fresh ginger is perhaps a new addition to clams in Venice rather than a continuation of its use since the days of the spice trade and it may well be as a result of recent Asian inspiration. Restaurant chefs have found that some people don’t like to eat garlic so they think of other flavourings such as chilli or ginger. It is really important to check the clams before using them to make sure they don’t contain sand or are already dead.
We get our children to drop them one by one into a bowl from a 15 cm (6 in) height and if they have sand in them they will burst open and release the sand. This way you can discard any that do contain sand, any with broken shells or any that are open and don’t close with a tap, which means they are dead. You can also make this recipe with cleaned mussels.
Serves 4 as a starter
© 2021 Katie Caldesi / Hardie Grant Books · Reproduced with permission. · Venice by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Helen Cathcart
Heat the oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Add the garlic, ginger and some pepper and fry over a gentle heat for 2 minutes making sure the garlic and ginger don’t burn.
Turn up the heat, add the clams and wine and put on the lid. Shake the pan frequently and cook for around 5–7 minutes until all the clams have opened. Discard any that haven’t after this time. Toss the parsley through and serve with bread to mop up the juices that are too good to waste.