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Clams with spaghetti, saffron and leek

Serves: 4-6

Cooking time: 28

Cooking method: Stove top


  • 20g butter
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 125ml white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • large pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 50ml warm water
  • 1kg clams, purged
  • 400g good-quality spaghetti
  • 2tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 3tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cooking instructions

  1. Heat butter and oil in a large lidded saucepan then add leek and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 10 minutes or until soft. Add wine and increase heat to medium. Cook until reduced by half.
  2. Add chicken stock, cream and saffron mixture and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Add clams, cover and cook for 5–8 minutes or until clams open. Discard any unopened clams.
  3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain well.
  4. Stir dill, parsley and lemon juice into clam mixture, season to taste, add spaghetti and toss gently to combine.
  5. Serve in shallow bowls.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

An image from The Complete New Zealand Seafood Cookbook by the Auckland Seafood School.
Photo: Sean Shadbolt, courtesy Auckland Seafood School
Recipe: Marco Edwardes, Chef, Auckland Seafood School
Published by Penguin Group NZ. ©Auckland Seafood School, 2013.