Lemon and Pepper Sautéed Clams

Summer mood on!

A delicious recipe I cannot forget is this following Lemon and Pepper Sautéed Clams.

Two years ago I spent some summer days in the Marina di Ugento area – South Italy – Puglia.

Here, the beaches, overlooking the Ionian Sea and protected by dunes of white sand with very fine grains and a lush pine forest, are among the most suggestive of the entire coast. The sea is clean and crystalline, characterized by different and rare shades of blue.

As in all part of Puglia the food was flavourful, a lot of fish, fresh veggies and fruit, diary cheeses and more…

In the small village of Torre Suda in a cozy cliff-side restaurant with a wonderful location and a sea view, I ate an appetizing and unusual version (….at least for me :-)) of sautéed clams. I only season clams with a few tomatoes, parsley and garlic; the one I ate at this restaurant was made with lemon juice and zest with a finishing touch of freshly grounded black pepper.

In the following recipe, that I got from the chef himself, I accompanied the dish with some grilled slides of bread. More Apulian recipes in this link.

🍷 Marinella🍴

Lemon and Pepper Sautéed Clams


Lemon and Pepper Sautee’ Clams

Preparation Time:
30 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
40 min



  • 600 g of clams,
  • a big size juicy lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic with peel on
  • parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • EVO oil


  • Scrub the clams very well under cold water and then let them soak in a bowl with cold water and salt for at least 30 minutes.
  • Grate the zest of the lemon and keep aside. Squeeze the juice and keep aside.
  • With your palm crush the two cloves of garlic keeping the peel.
  • Place a large pan on low heat, and add 4 tbsp of EVO oil. Add the garlic cloves and let them brown. Remove them from the oil.
  • Drain and wash the clams and drop them into the pan. Turn the heat on high, cover with the lid, and let cook until all the clams are open. Get rid of any clams that haven’t opened.
  • Then remove the lid, lower the heat, add the lemon juice, a tablespoon of chopped parsley and let it go for a few more minutes, over medium heat, to thicken the sauce.
  • If needed filter the sauce: line a strainer with 2 coffee filters and ladle through the clam juice.
  • Then pour it back into the pan with the clams.
  • Add the lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Serve with some slices of bread.
Beach at Lido PinetaMarina di Ugento – Puglia

Tips: use this sauteéd clams to season a dish of spaghetti

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