If buying frozen prawns, then buy more in weight than the recipe says to allow for the water content of the pack. You might need about 600g frozen prawns to yield the 400g defrosted prawns required here. People often tell me that cooking with shellfish is something that they find intimidating, so I have devised this dish to make the task a little easier. It is really a case of just bunging the shellfish into the pan, then standing back and letting the hob do the work for you.
350g dried linguine or spaghetti (regular or wholewheat)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 large banana shallots, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded for less heat if preferred, finely chopped
400g sustainably caught raw peeled tiger prawns, de-veined
400g clams in their shells, washed thoroughly
1 glass of white wine (about 150–200ml)
1 small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped (to give about 3 tbsp)
70g bag of rocket
1 small lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to the packet instructions until al dente. I add a little salt to flavour and some oil to stop the pasta sticking, but this is optional. Meanwhile, put the oil in a large saucepan (that has a tight-fitting lid) over a medium heat.
Add the shallots and allow to sweat down for 8–10 minutes until softened, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Then add the clams and white wine, bring to the boil and then cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 4–5 minutes until the clam shells have all opened (discard any that don’t) and the prawns have turned from grey to pink.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain well, tip it in on top of the shellfish and mix together well. Toss the chopped parsley through and season to taste. Pile into serving bowls, drizzle with an extra bit of olive oil, scatter the rocket over, top with a good grinding of black pepper and serve each with a wedge of lemon.
Top tip To prepare the clams, I usually soak them in cold water for 1 hour to get the sand out and discard any that remain open when tapped.