Portuguese clams (ameijoas), particularly the small variety Burbigao from the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve in the East Algarve, are extremely flavoursome and need little if anything to help them on their way.We normally eat them Bulhao Pato style.Bulhao Pato was a Portuguese poet from the 19th Century. He is however, much more famous for his clams recipe than for his poetry. Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato can be found all over Portugal and it is undoubtedly one of the best clam recipes of all times. I rue the day I will see leftover clams in this house.This weekend however my enthusiasm reached Olympic proportions.I over catered and was left with a ton of clams.What does one do with left over clams? Ask the Italians.They make the most perfect summer pasta dish. I put the left over clams and their cooking stock in the fridge in readiness for the perfect summer Monday supper.I followed the classic recipe for Spaghetti al vongole and hey ho another simple supper with an intense flavour hit the table.
Esparguete com burbigao (Spaghetti al vongole)
30 ml/1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion,very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
150ml/174 pint/1/2 cup dry white wine
250g or more cooked clams
reserved cooking stock and juices
350g/12 oz spaghettini or spaghettitablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley plus extra for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently stirring frequently,for about 5 minutes until softened,but not brown.Stir in the garlic,tomatoes,wine and reserved clam cooking liquor, with salt to taste. Add agenerous grinding of black pepper.Bring to the boil,stirring,then lower the heat.Cover the pan and simmer the sauce gently for about 20 minutes,stirring from time to time. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water and cook for 12 minutes or until it is al dente.Drain the spaghetti thoroughly an. add the clams and finely chopped parsley to the tomato sauce and heat through,then taste for seasoning.Tip the drained spaghetti into a warmed serving bowl.pour over the tomato sauce and toss thoroughly to mix. Serve at once garnished with the extra parsley.
The tomato sauce can be prepared several days ahead and kept in the fridge.Add the clams and heat them through at the last minute-but don´t let them boil or they will toughen.