Spaghetti with razor clams and taggiasche olives

Spaghetti with razor clams

Fresh-from-the-boat clams are generally not something that you can easily obtain in Hawaii, so when I spotted these razor clams (cannolicchi — kah-noh-LEE-kee) at the fishmonger, I had to try them. How fresh is fresh? Well, they were moving ever so slightly within their shells, and when I asked the saleswoman how to cook them I was told that a tomato-based sauce served with pasta would do just fine. They taste just like regular clams, she went on to say. At 14€/kilo ($8.70/lb), I asked for a half kilo.

Cannolicchi | razor clams

Cannolicchi | razor clamsMy only neglect was that I forgot to give the clams a good soak in cold water to purge them of sand. Razors have good flavor even if not as intensely clam-tasting like the typical ones. Other ways to prepare them are over the grill, baked gratin-style and in soups. For this dish, the clams were gently steamed in a separate pot for a few minutes to get them to release easily from their shells. The meat was then quickly sautéed in butter, minced garlic, a splash of white wine and italian parsley, then combined with just-cooked spaghetti and pitted taggiasche olives from Liguria.

Cooked razor clams
500 grams fresh razor clams (a little over 1 pound) will yield enough for 2 servings.

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