2000s Recipes + Menus

Linguine with Cockles

Serves4 to 6
  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:35 min
May 2008
Since the Venus clams found around Venice aren’t available here in the States, we asked Rocca what to substitute. She told us mussels would be just fine. We tested the recipe with cockles and think they are another good option for this dish.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 lb cockles, scrubbed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lb linguine or spaghetti
  • Heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook cockles with wine, covered, shaking skillet occasionally, until they open wide, 2 to 6 minutes. Check cockles frequently after 2 minutes, transferring with a slotted spoon to a bowl as cooked (discard any that remain unopened after 6 minutes). Remove cockles from shells, discarding shells.
  • Add tomatoes to juices in skillet with 1/3 cup parsley, garlic, and red-pepper flakes (if using). Briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by about half, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook linguine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta.
  • Add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to tomato mixture in skillet and cook over high heat, tossing to coat, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in cockles with their juices, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and remaining parsley. Season with salt and thin sauce with additional cooking water if desired. Serve immediately.
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