Steamed razor clams with chorizo and broad beans

Serves 4

I first tasted a dish very similar to this one about 20 years agoin Spain. I loved the combination of local ham and seafood and so when I returned to London I matched the razor clams with chorizo and seasonal broad beans as my own kind of homage to Catalonia.

Razor clams are an odd kind of shellfish and they are not very often seen on the fishmonger's slab in this country. I first tried them in Spain, cooked very simply, and I've since discovered that it's the only way to prepare these molluscs.

It's important to use the soft cooking type of chorizo to make this dish, as opposed to the hard dry sausage that is sliced and eaten cold.

1kg live razor clams
glass of dry white wine
A few sprigs of thyme
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1tsp salt
1tbsp chopped parsley (reserve the stalks)
250g broad beans, shelled
4tbsp olive oil
115g cooking chorizo, sliced to the thickness of a coin
60g butter
Salt and ground black pepper

Rinse the razor clams well in cold, running water for 10 minutes, discarding any that don't close properly when handled.

Put the razor clams in a pot with the wine, thyme, garlic, salt and parsley stalks. Cover and cook over a high heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the shells have opened. Drain in a colander and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Carefully remove the razor clams from the shells, keeping the shell intact (make sure you discard any that haven't opened). Cut away the central, dark, intestinal sac and discard. Cut each clam into 4 or 5 pieces, place back in the shell and arrange the shells on a baking tray. Keep warm in the low oven.

Meanwhile, cook the shelled broad beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain in a colander. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the chorizo on a low heat for 1-2 minutes.

Add the broad beans, butter and chopped parsley, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Put the clams in their shells on warmed serving plates and spoon the chorizo mixture over.

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