2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

125 g (3/4 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved 

1 chilli, thinly sliced 

1–2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley stalks 

1 kg vongole (clams), rinsed in cold water to remove grit 

150 ml dry white wine 

4 slices of sourdough 

salt flakes 

1–2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves 


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, chilli and parsley stalks and stir for 20–30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the vongole and wine and allow the alcohol to bubble away for 1–2 minutes, then cover with the lid and allow the steam to open the  vongole (this will take about 4–5 minutes). 

In the meantime, grill the sourdough to your liking. (I love it a bit on the charred side.)  

Once all the shells have opened, remove the pan from the heat. Discard any broken or unopened shells. 

Tip the vongole and poaching liquid into a large sharing bowl and season to taste, if needed. Scatter the parsley leaves on top and serve hot with the grilled sourdough.

Wine match: Wairau River Pinot Gris