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    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    Spaghetti alle Vongole or in this case Cockles alle Vongole

    We have just had a wonderful week at Omaha Beach with the family.
    New Zealand has had a boomer summer this year except for the Far North where we spent all of January on the boat (enough said)So back to Omaha. Check it out here

    The beach house we rented overlooked the Estuary side and this included the best sunsets.
    So there was the Big beach which is rolling surf - white sand - fun fun fun
    And then the Small beach…the Estuary . Tidal - grey sand but great for foraging.
    The children wanted to dig for cockles. Off they went
    Kiwi Kids on Holiday
    Off to the Beach

    The Foragers

    Murray, The Marine Ranger checking that they hadn’t picked more than their quota

    Sophia washing the catch

    And now to the preparation

    First soak the shell fish in a bucket of salt water for several hours, to try and remove as much sand as possible They spit it out clever little things.

    I had to change the classic recipe. I thought this was a perfect entry for
    Ruth from Once Upon a Feast Presto Pasta Night
    Have a look at her site here lots of wonderful Pasta recipes

    NowI felt as they are quite small and you need at 2 dozen each for a good feed I steamed and opened and removed the meat from all reserving about 30 which I used as the sauce.

    Into a hot pan add 100 mls water bring to boil and add big handful of cockles

    Cover with lid and shake and cook about 2 minutes till they all open
    Any unopened toss away
    Remove cockles cool and remove meat and reserve.

    There were so mnay it took several batches.
    By the way it’s a good liquor which could be worth keeping, would make a good stock.

    Salty though so be cautious with amount...

    Anyhow I am now down to the last 30.
    So now we are really cooking
    For 4 people

    Cockles as above
    2 garlic cloves peeled
    1 chilli finely chopped

    3 tablespoons olive oil plus a little extra
    Half a glass white wine or vermouth

    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Freshly ground black pepper

    400 g spaghetti or linguine

    Mince the garlic and heat in a large pan with the oil. It must not go brown.
    Add the chili to the garlic and oil in the pan.

    Meanwhile cook the pasta until just undercooked;

    Drain it,

    Add a little olive oil to prevent it sticking, and cover to keep warm.

    Add cooked cockle meat to the pasta

    Add the reserved cockles, bring up the heat and pour in the wine or vermouth;

    Cover and shake over the heat for a few minutes until all the cockles have opened

    (pick out and discard any that refuse to open).

    Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix everything around;

    Put the lid on for another minute or so until the pasta is ready to eat

    Toss the parsley over, mix and serve.

    So so good.


    Asha said...

    That looks like a good fun on the beach! Never tasted Cockles though.
    We have booked a beach holiday too for next month but it still a bit cold, they have indoor pool.
    Have fun. See you next week!:)

    Ann said...

    What a marvelous day with a wonderful ending! There is something so satisfying about growing or gathering the ingredients you prepare, isn't there?!

    so simple said...

    Have a good time on our holiday we seem to be on holiday for ever. Cockles are ovely salty, sweet, delicious.
    Yes it was a wonderful day so much fun.

    Asha said...

    Gilli,just checked your comment.
    I always make ghee at home with unsalted butter too, never bought it from the store. Homemade ghee is the best. I will post the way I make ghee one day. You can of course use homemade ghee in any Indian dish, gives it a good nutty taste!:)

    Ruth Daniels said...

    Fabulous dish, glorious MUST take me along next time ;-)

    Thanks for sharing (the trip and the dish) with Presto Pasta Nights.