Spaghetti parcel with clams and bottarga

A recipe from The Silver Spoon

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Serves: 4 people


1 kg (2¼lbs) live clams

2 garlic cloves

1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig

200ml (7fl oz) (scant 1 cup) dry white wine

100ml (3½fl oz) (scant ½ cup) olive oil

350g (12oz) spaghetti

25g (1oz) bottarga (salted pressed grey mullet or tuna roe), grated

1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.

Scrub the clams under cold running water. Discard any with damaged shells or that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped.

Put them into a large saucepan with the garlic cloves and parsley sprig. Pour in the wine, cover and cook over a high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for 3–5 minutes until the clams open.

Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and discard any clams that remain shut. Set aside a few whole clams for the garnish and remove the remainder from their shells.

Pour the reserved cooking liquid through a muslin-lined strainer into a clean pan. Add the olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to the boil over a medium heat.Continue to boil until reduced and thickened.

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, tip into the reduced cooking liquid and toss. Turn off the heat and stir in the bottarga, the parsley and the shelled clams.

Spoon the mixture into the centre of a large sheet of greaseproof paper, garnish with the whole clams, bring up the sides of the paper and fold over the edges securely to seal. Put the parcel onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Transfer the parcel to a warmed serving dish, open slightly at the top and serve immediately.

Tip: Chopped parsley should be added after the sauce is cooked, otherwise it loses some of its colour and fl__avour. Use carefully in sautéed vegetables as it burns easily and becomes bitter.