Clams in an Almond and Pine Nut Sauce

11:15 pm on 3 December 2007


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 x 6mm slice of crusty bread from a long loaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup fish stock
  • a few saffron threads, toasted
  • 2 dozen small clams, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Serrano ham
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • lemon and parsley to garnish


Heat the oil in a shallow cazuela or sauté pan the right size to fit the clams in a single layer.

Fry the slice of bread until golden and crunchy on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Add the garlic cloves and nuts to the cazuela and toss until golden. Cool and grind with the bread in a food processor as finely as possible.

Add the onion to the same pan and sauté until tender.  Stir in the tomatoes and parsley and cook until soft. Add the wine, stock and saffron.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Mash the tomato and onion with the back of a fork then add the ground bread and nuts to the hot sauce, whisking it in to form a sauce. Alternatively add the tomato mixture to the nuts and bread and blend till smooth in the food processor before returning it to the pan.

Add the clams and the ham, increase the heat and cover. Remove the clams as they open and set aside. When all the clams are open add them back to the sauce, season well and serve immediately in small dishes with some bread and an empty bowl for the shells.

Garnish with lemon wedges and sprinkle with some more chopped parsley.

John Hawkesby's Wine suggestion: 


  • Distant Land Reserve 2004
  • St. Clair Omaka Reserve 2006
  • Felton Road 2006

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