Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mussels, clams and an Italian island hideaway - recipe

Last week's gorgeously hot weather made me wish I was on a beach somewhere eating fresh seafood and sipping chilled wine.  I couldn't do anything about the beach but I did manage to rustle up a pot of clams and mussels (and maybe a cheeky glass of wine or two!).

Last year, after going to an amazing wedding in Rome, we spent a few days on a tiny island called Ventotene.  It's a beautiful island, with crystal clear blue seas and picture-perfect pastel buildings.  The pace of life is leisurely, with days spent sunbathing, or wandering round the little village square and evenings enjoying the freshest seafood, washed down with carafes of house wine.  One of our favourite dishes was 'cozze e vongole' - mussels and clams.  My version below.

Ingredients (serves two for main, four for starter):
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Good glug of olive oil
1 glass of white wine
1.5kg (total weight) clams and mussels
Handful of fresh parsley

Clean the mussels and clams by running under cold water.  Remove the beards from the mussels.  Discard any that do not close when run under cold water, or tapped firmly.

In a large saucepan, gently heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the white wine and turn the heat up a little.

Add the clams and mussels.  Put a lid over the pan and allow them to steam, shaking the pan occasionally.

After 4-5 minutes they should be cooked.  They're ready when the shells are open.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with some crusty bread.  And some sunshine if you can!

'Cozze e vongole'

Delicious served with some fresh bread

The view from our hotel in Ventotene

The local supermarket!

Ancient Roman harbour

Back in Rome, everyone travels by scooter!


  1. Quaint little place! Your Cozze Vongole photo are gorgeous! Thanks for taking time to write inspite of your hectic Uni days. Have fun!

  2. Thanks very much June. It is a gorgeous little place - great food too! x


Thanks very much for stopping by. Always love to hear your comments. c