The real name of these clams in Spanish is 'almejas a la marinera'. Good clams are difficult to get (and also expensive) so it is a pity to ruin them with a creamy sauce (chowder and alike) This sauce is subtle and not too tick. Many Spanish people eat this dish for Christmas or New Year's eve.
- 300 gr clams (clean)
- an onion chopped very finely
- a table spoon of parsley (also chopped very finely)
- half a glass of white wine
- 1 -1.5 glass of water
- a bay leave
- half a lemon
- salt ( not too much as the clams are naturally salty)
- 1 table spoon of thin breadcrumbs
You are meant to cook the sauce first and then the clams on it. However, if you are, like me, paranoid about rotten seafood do this first: heat a pan until it is rather hot. Put the clams in it with two tablespoons of water and wait for a couple of minutes until they open up. Discard those that remain closed. Do not throw away the liquid at the bottom of the pan (sieve it as sometimes there is a tiny bit of sand in the clams)
In a different pan fry the onion very slowly until it gets soft and a little bit golden. Increase the heat and add the wine. Wait while it bubbles away and add the juice of the lemon, the water, the liquid from the clams, the breadcrumbs, parsley and the bay leave (and the salt if you think it is needed) Let it all boil for 4-5 minutes.
When you are about to eat heat the sauce until you see bubbles coming up, add the clams and take them off the heat almost immediately (otherwise they will get rubbery). Serve it immediately with plenty of bread.
The children enjoyed seeing the clams opening up. They initially looked at me weirdly as they thought the clams were alive. The sauce is so good though that they forgot all their worries about the clams as soon as they tasted it.