Clams with yellow and green courgettes, chilli and fino sherry

Serves 6

Courgettes can be bland and watery on their own, but here they suck up the salty sea taste of the clams, while the chilli and garlic add heat. Do serve bread with this dish to soak up all the delicious juices.

2 yellow courgettes
2 green courgettes
40ml/2fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
500g/1lb clams
250ml/8fl oz fino (or dry white wine)
1 medium bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Sea salt and a few grindings of black pepper

Wash and dry the courgettes, slice in half lengthwise and chop into chunky pieces. Place a pan over a medium heat, pour in half the olive oil and crumble in the chilli and garlic. Add the courgettes and turn the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, carefully stirring every now and then, until the courgettes are tender.

While the courgettes are cooking, rinse the clams well under cold, running water. Place a separate pan (large enough to hold all of the ingredients) over a high flame.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil and, when hot, add the clams. Pour in the fino and shake the pan a little.

Throw in the parsley and, as the clams begin to open, add the courgettes. Toss together to combine all the flavours.

Pour in the remaining olive oil. Taste for seasoning and ladle into soup bowls. Serve with warm crusty bread or bruschetta.

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