Fran's Clams with Spaghetti

Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand

Our 5th episode presents Blenheim, famous for its delicious cuisine and beautiful sauvignon blanc. So, let head chef Fran, from the Vines Village Cafe, show you how to create Blenheim's Cloudy Bay clams with spaghetti using fresh produce from the region. 

About Chef Fran Nolan

My name is Fran Nolan. I am originally from Ireland. I have been a chef for 20 years living in New Zealand for 15 years. I have lived in Auckland, Queenstown and now Blenheim for almost 9 years with my wife and 2 kids

I am the head chef at the Vines Village Cafe. My style of food is fresh, simple, big flavours. I like using good quality ingredients. The produce in Marlborough is amazing. From the meat, vegetables and herbs. I love the seafood, olive oils, cheese and wines from the region

The vines village café is a fast, fresh and wholesome café specialising in nourishing breakfasts, tasty lunches, supreme coffee, catering, private functions and events.

While you are here discover the 6 artisan stores to sample the best of Marlborough's art, craft, food, wine and design. With regular family-friendly events and activities, The Vines Village is the perfect destination to bring the whole family to explore, taste and relax amongst the 4 hectares of expansive tranquil lakeside grounds. 

Check out the Bike Hire for riding the Golden Mile, Pump Track, Free Wifi, Dog Parking, Kid's Treasure Hunt, Outdoor Theatre & other seasonal activities. Loads of free parking with buses, kombi's, campervans, cars with trailers and bikes all welcome. We look forward to sharing our taste of Marlborough with you soon! 

Steamed Cloudy bay diamond clams with spaghetti, Marlborough sauvignon blanc, chilli, garlic and fresh herbs

Marlborough is located at the north-eastern tip of the South Island in New Zealand. There is an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands, making up the coasts stunning water landscape. A picturesque location filled with rich life, means that the region produces some of the best surf clams in existence. 

Blenheim's Cloudy Bay Diamond Shell clams are harvested from the 3 to 5-metre surf zone, the Diamond Shell is naturally full of plump meat, yielding 28-35% meat to shell ratio. The Diamond Shell clam has a beige coloured shell with a rich, deep coloured meat and white tongue. With a mild, sweet ocean flavour and a crisp texture, the Diamond Shell is great for a broad range of preparations – both raw and cooked. The Diamond Shell is characterised by its sweet, fresh sea spray aroma and clean ‘wild ocean’ flavour. When cooked, the clam exhibits a fresh, fragrant scent of seaweed, with a rich, buttery flavour and a discreet nutty aftertaste. For this recipe, you can find all ingredients within the Malborough Region. For more information, about Malborough's Cloudy Bay clams, you can visit:  



Serves 2

1kg cloudy bay diamond clams

1 packet dried spaghetti

4 cloves garlic

2 shallots

1 lemon

1 cup Whitehaven sauvignon blanc

1 cup chopped fresh herbs- parsley, chervil, chives, thyme

½ cup seresin olive oil

Step 1

 Heat pot of salted water.

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water for 10 mins. 

Drain once cooked.

Step 2

Finely slice shallots.


Move onto the garlic.



And the chilli.

Step 3

Finely cut herbs. 



 Finely zest lemon with a microplane.

Heat olive oil in a pan. 

Step 4

 In the pan, fry shallot , garlic and chilli with half the olive oil until soft. Add the clams and toss.  

 Add the clams then wine and cover with a lid. Steam for about 5 mins until all the clams open. Discard any that don’t open.

Add the pasta to the cooked clams. Stir through the herbs, lemon zest and rest of olive oil.

Serve in large bowls. Enjoy with a glass of Whitehaven sauvignon blanc!

For a vegetarian option, try replacing clams with zucchini and mushrooms.

Book your adventure with Mighway!

Now that you’ve got this exclusive recipe using the best produce from the Blenheim region, you’ll be a pro at cooking your own take on this easy Cloudy Bay clam spaghetti. So, get the best of both worlds with experiencing Blenheim, the Malborough Sounds and it’s local food, by booking your next culinary roadie with Mighway!

Rent your own private motorhome direct from owners, and have the freedom to travel where you want, when you want, and even cook what you want!

Make your way to Blenheim!

Watch our fifth episode of On the Road Recipes, Blenheim!

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