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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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