Saffron Clams

Try Rachel Allen's saffron clams at home by following her step by step guide


  • 1 kg (2lb 3oz) fresh clams
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 50 ml (2fl oz) dry sherry, such as fino
  • 1 tblsp tomato paste
  • 2 tblsp roughly chopped parsley


  1. First check that the clams are all closed, discarding any that stay open when tapped on a hard surface. To clean the clams, place them in a bowl or sink of cold water and let them soak for 30 minutes; this should help get rid of any sand. Drain the clams and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened and golden. Add the remaining ingredients and the drained clams, cover with a lid and cook for 3–4 minutes or until all the clams have completely opened. Discard any that have not.
  3. Tip into serving bowls and serve immediately, mopping up the juices with chunks of crusty white bread.


Serves 4–6 as tapas, or 2 as a main course


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