This is a dish that should be cooked at the very last minute – there is nothing difficult about it. Just pay attention during its cooking and be careful not to over-salt, as the clams already have a taste of the sea about them.
25ml/1fl oz olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1/2 dried red chilli, crumbled
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
400 ml/14fl oz good-quality dry white wine
30ml/1fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bunch of purple basil
Place a wide, shallow-sided saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Season the scallops lightly on both sides and, when the pan is hot, add the chilli, garlic and scallops. Cook for a minute then add the wine and clams. Turn the scallops over at the same time, allowing the wine to bubble and spit slightly.
Place a lid on the saucepan and cook until the clams are just open. Pour in the 30ml of olive oil and throw in the purple basil, stir and taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed by adding a small pinch of salt – the chilli gives it enough warmth without the addition of black pepper.
Spoon into bowls and serve with a slice of toast. At Petersham, we add a dollop of aioli too. '