Why you need to clean clams to remove sand

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Before you cook clams, you need to remove the sand, otherwise you will find grit in your mouth when you eat them. Here’s how to do that and to make the classic Italian dish of Spaghetti or Linguine con Vongole.

How to clean clams

Scrub the clam shells well with a brush. Place them in large bowl or saucepan of cold water and sprinkle with polenta (cornmeal) or porridge oats (the clams will eat this and it will get rid of the sand). Put the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour, then rinse.

How to make Spaghetti con Vongole or Spaghetti alla Vongole

Pour some olive oil into a large pan and heat gently. Add sliced garlic and finely chopped red chilli and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the clams and cook for a few minutes, tossing them in the pan until they open (discard any that don’t). Mix in cooked spaghetti or linguine, picking up the sauce with the pasta. If you wish you can fry strips of pancetta or guanciale with the garlic and chilli.

 

VIDEO: how to clean clams by purging them in cornmeal.

 

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