This classic Basque seafood dish is quick and easy to prepare. Its success relies on using high-quality fresh clams that have not been overcooked. To achieve the proper texture for your clams, lightly cook the clams until they just open and then pour the finished green sauce over them.
Wine Recommendation: Txomín Etxaniz’s Txakoli offers pure flavors of green apple and lemon-lime, which are perfect for this salty, garlicky preparation. It is difficult to suggest alternatives to Txakoli, due to its unique character and the fact that it’s the only Basque white, but other dry whites to consider include Albariño, Chablis, Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc.
24 manila clams
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated on a micro plane
1 Basque red Guindilla pepper or 1 Thai Birdseye chile
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3⁄4 cup dry white wine, i.e. Txakoli or Manzanilla Sherry
Salt to taste
Rinse clams in several changes of fresh water and pat dry. Heat a small pan that’s just large enough to accommodate the clams. Add olive oil and reduce the heat. Add garlic and red pepper/chile of choice and cook until just opaque (only a few seconds). Add clams, half the parsley and the wine. Reduce heat to medium and shake the pan a bit. As clams begin to open, remove them one by one to a warm ceramic dish. When all are removed, add remaining parsley to pan and taste for salt. Adjust seasoning and reduce sauce further if the alcohol in the wine hasn’t cooked off. Pour liquid over clams and serve immediately with bread for mopping up green sauce.