Spanish Clams (Almejas a la Española)
These Spanish clams are my recreation of one of the restaurants in Valencia’s version I got during a trip there. The restaurant is called El Rinconet and is absolutely fantastic, and should you find yourself in Valencia I definitely recommend it. One of the dishes we got as a sharing plate (like tapas) was a large serving of baby clams in a garlic wine sauce. Now, I’m calling these Spanish clams, and saying it is my recreation from said restaurant based on taste, but I could be way off. That being said, these are really good so if you’ve been to El Rinconet and think mine taste different, hopefully you still think they taste delicious.
The clams used in this dish are extremely small, often called baby clams or button clams in America and you may recognize the shells from your days on the beach. I remember finding these exact clam shells back in Los Angeles when I was growing up so finding them at a restaurant in Spain was a great blast from the past.
Spanish Clams Ingredients
250 grams Baby Clams; rinsed quickly in cold water.
3 cloves Garlic; chopped.
2 Shallot; chopped.
1 tsp Flour
50 ml White Wine; dry.
1 tsp Sweet Paprika
1 bunch Parsley; chopped
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt; to taste
Spanish Clams Instructions
1. In a saucepan on medium heat add the olive oil, and when hot, add the chopped shallot until translucent. When the shallot begins to fry you can add the garlic and parsley and the clams. After a minute or so (but before the garlic burns) add the white wine and give everything a good stir.
2. As the wine begins to heat up you’ll notice the clams start to open. At this point you can add the flour and paprika and give everything a good toss. As the clams continue to open keep agitating the pan to get the liquid inside the shells.
3. Try the sauce and salt to taste. Toss the clams around a bit, and when all (or almost all) of the clams are open you can pour directly into a large plate/bowl and serve immediately.
When you are rinsing the clams in the beginning you want to check for any fully open and dead clams, or any clams with broken shells. Just discard these ones, better safe than sorry.
I like to serve these with some slices of fresh bread to really soak up the excess sauce that you’ll have after finishing the clams, but if you wanted to make a meal of it, you can just toss the full amount with about 250 grams of Spaghetti or other pasta an make a sort of cheat spaghetti and clams. It is actually quite similar to my stand-alone recipe for Linguini with clams.