Clams are quite popular now in restaurants and also are becoming very to find in your local fish shop as there are many companies putting out live bagged clams that simply need to be cooked. This, for us cooks and chefs makes it so easy to throw together a delicious pasta sauce or side dish without having to do the cleaning, purging etc. In this recipe I have used the New Zealand Cloudy Bay clams which are internationally sustainable so you know that you are supporting local fisheries. You can pick these up at your local seafood store or ask them to get them in for you. They are ready to cook, deliciously tender and a great size for any kind of recipe.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frypan over a moderate temperature and fry the zucchini slices in batches until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side. Sit the aside on paper towel.
Into the same pan add in the clams, pour in the wine and cook as per directed on the packet or until all of the clams start to open. I usually cover them with a lid peeking in to see what they start to open.
Turn off the heat and scoop out the clams reserving the remaining liquid. Allow the clams to cool before removing the meat, discard the shells and strain the remaining liquid through a fine strainer.
Add the extra olive oil to the pan and fry the garlic for 1 minute, add in the cherry tomatoes and about ¾ cup of the clam cooking liquid, this is going to make the sauce. When the sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until reduced by about half. Add in some more of the clam stock if the sauce starts to dry out or thicken too much.
Place the fried zucchini, and clams into the pan tossing them gently to cover with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, toss in the parsley and the lemon zest and serve with pasta, crusty bread or as a side dish.