Laura Cassai reveals the recipe for a lusciously authentic linguine con le vongole
“One of my favourite things to do as a family is to go down to Goolwa, on the beautiful coast south of Adelaide, to get the freshest cockles you could ever find. It’s amazing to see kilometres of shoreline filled with people digging for cockles. This recipe is the definition of fresh – from ocean to plate in just a few hours!”
• 4 roma tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 onion, finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
• 60ml white wine
• 1kg fresh cockles/clams, rinsed
• sea salt flakes
• 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
• 600g fresh linguine
1 To prepare the tomatoes, boil the kettle and pour the boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Score a cross in the base of each tomato and put them in the bowl of hot water. Leave the tomatoes in the bowl until the skin starts to peel away, about 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes from the bowl and peel away the skin, then slice and finely dice.
2 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
3 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sauté until soft and lightly coloured, about 3–5 minutes.
4 Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, then deglaze the pan with the white wine.
5 Add the cockles, put a lid on the saucepan and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, until all the cockle shells have opened. (Discard any cockles that have not opened.) Season lightly with sea salt (as cockles can be quite salty). Add some freshly ground pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.
6 Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook for 3–4 minutes until al dente. Drain and toss with the cockles.
Recipe courtesy of Laura Cassai, extracted from My Italian Kitchen