Steamed Clams with Sausage Recipe

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Edible Seashore River Cottage HandbookThis unlikely-sounding dish is one of the best things I have ever tasted and I kneel at the feet of Debora who cooked it for me at River Cottage. It is very easy to make. A variation is to use Cockles in place of Clams. You will never waste a Cockle by dipping it in vinegar again.

  • Yield: 4 Servings as a main course, 6 as a starter


  • 25 g butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Wild Thyme leaves (ok – it doesn’t have to be wild!)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed
  • 200 g herby pork sausages, skinned and roughly broken into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 120 ml dry white wine
  • 1 kg Clams, well scrubbed
  • 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley or Wild Fennel fronds (or a mixture), chopped
How to Make It
  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, leek, thyme and fennel seeds, and sauté gently until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the sausage pieces and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until evenly browned. Stir in the oregano, chopped tomatoes and wine. Turn up the heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the Clams, cover the pan tightly and cook just until they open, which should take no longer than 4 minutes. Discard any that remain closed. Sprinkle over the parsley and/or fennel fronds. Divide between warmed bowls and eat immediately.

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