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Clams Or Cockles With Pasta (Best Known As Alla Vongole)


  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic-crushed
  • 1 chilli deseeded and chopped
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Chopped fresh parsley or coriander
  • About 15 clams per person or 30 cockles as these are smaller
  • Linguine, spaghetti or tagliatelle.

Alternative Recipe:

  • 1 glass of white wine reduced to a third
  • 1 mild chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ounce of butter
  • 3 ounces of unsalted butter
  • A few threads of saffron (about 15 threads)
  • 100 grams of linguine per person
  • Half pint of cream (about 250mls)
  • About 25 cockles per person.
Clams Or Cockles With Pasta (Best Known As Alla Vongole)


Probably one of my (Joey's recipe) all-time favourite foods. Tastes even better if you've harvested these little guys with a spoon on Fermoyle beach outside Clahane, Co. Kerry. Like Mrs Beetons famous jugged hair recipe first of all catch your cockles! For debut cocklers your equipment is quite simple. You will need a spoon and a bucket. Wait till the tide is well out and you'll see little air holes appear in the sand about the size of the top of a knitting needle. Dig an inch beneath the surface and you should find a cockle or clam. Failing this buy them in the market. Once you've got the clams home wash all the sand and grit out of them using a collander or sieve.


  • Put pasta on to boil and start preparing your shellfish sauce.
  • In a deep saucepan saute your onion, garlic and chilli.
  • Once these have softened add a glass of white wine and then throw in your shellfish.
  • Cover with a very tight fitting lid.
  • Cockles are cooked when they open (should take about 3 minutes)
  • Toss cockles and liquid into the cooked pasta and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Yummy- serve with crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices.


  • Method for sauce: Saute chilli, garlic and then add your reduced wine. The add half pint of fresh cream. Simmer gently and reduce slightly.
  • Add 3 ounces of chilled unsalted butter- add piece by piece slowly.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of sea water from the bottom of the cockle pot.
  • Add squeeze of lemon juice- just before serving.
  • Method for pasta and cockles: Add your pasta to a big saucepan of boiling water with loads of salt. It should take about 10 minutes.
  • Get the biggest pot you have (like a stew pot) for the cockles. The cockles will cook by steam so the more space the better they will cook.
  • Heat the pan until it's really hot and then add the cockles (NO oil, butter or anything in the bottom of the pan)
  • Make sure the lid goes on top quickly. They will take about between 5 to 10 minutes!