Spaghetti alle vongole would be a top contender if I had to choose a last meal. This creamy (but not in an over-the-top way) take on it is one of many great dishes in a Gourmet Traveller Seafood cookbook from 2004. If vongole/clams are not available you could substitute with pippies. The following serves 4:
- 20g butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large leek, washed well and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 125ml dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup pouring cream
- Large pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon boiling water for 10 minutes
- 1kg clams (vongole), soaked in cold water
- 400g spaghetti
- 2 teaspoons chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan, add leek and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 10 minutes or until soft. Add wine, increase heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, cream and saffron mixture and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add clams, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until clams open. Discard any unopened clams.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in plenty of salted water until al dente, then drain well.
Stir dill, parsley, and lemon juice into clam mixture, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, add spaghetti and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.