Red Pesto & Clam Spaghetti

Red Pesto & Clam Spaghetti

Serves 4


For the red pesto:

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50 g/2 oz./ ½ cup pine nuts
  • 25 g/1 oz./ ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the clam sauce:

  • 450 g/1 lb. live clams, in their shells
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 5 tbsp./ 1/3 cup medium-dry white wine
  • 150 ml/ ¼ pint/ 2/3 cup fish or chicken stock
  • 275 g/10 oz./3 ¾ cups spaghetti


To make the red pesto. place the garlic, pine nuts. basil leaves. sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil in a food processor and blend in short. sharp bursts until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and leave in the refrigerator until required.

Scrub the clams with a soft brush and remove any beards from the shells. discarding any shells that are open or damaged. Wash in plenty of cold water. then leave in a bowl covered with cold water in the refrigerator until required. Change the water frequently.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the garlic and onion for 5 minutes until softened but not colored. Add the wine and stock and bring to the boil. Add the clams. cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until the clams have opened.

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Discard any clams that have not opened and stir in the red pesto sauce. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti for 5-7 minutes until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add the sauce to the spaghetti. mix well. then spoon into a serving dish and serve immediately.

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