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Hugh's clams, tomatoes and garlic

Hugh's clams, tomatoes and garlic, taken from his Three Good Things on More4. Hugh's recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate and in this series, he pursues that idea, experimenting with different flavours and textures.


This is the most fantastic, simple way to cook clams alongside two of their finest companions, tomatoes and garlic. All you need in addition is some good bread for soaking up those delicious, salty-savoury pan juices. Alternatively, just pile the lot on to a heap of freshly cooked spaghetti or linguine for a quick and delicious interpretation of pasta alle vongole.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Halve the tomatoes and place them in a large, deep-sided roasting tin. Scatter the garlic over the tomatoes, season well with salt and pepper and trickle over the extra virgin olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and blistering around the edges.

Meanwhile, scrub the clams well under cold running water. Discard any with broken shells and any that are open and do not close if you tap them sharply against the side of the sink. (Open clams are dead, and since you don't know how long they've been dead, it's best not to eat them.)

Take the roasting tin from the oven and add the clams, settling them in among the tomatoes so you have as shallow a layer as possible. Sprinkle over the wine and dot with the butter. Add a little more salt and pepper. Give the tin a good shake, then return it to the oven for a further 8-12 minutes or until all, or almost all, the clams are open. Discard any that have not opened.

Remove from the oven and scatter with chopped parsley, if you like. Serve in warm bowls, with lots of warm, crusty bread.

This recipe is one of hundreds of new recipes which can be found in the book which inspired the series,

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About 500g mixed tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1.5kg fresh live clams (the palourde variety is best)

A glass of white wine

30g butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves only, finely chopped, to finish (optional)

This recipe is taken from...

Hugh’s Three Good Things